Pakistan cricket team is off to an extremely disappointing start to their tour of Ireland and England. Playing their first warm up against a county side like Kent not only did their batting collapse for a mere 168 runs but their bowlers too, failed to deliver in conditions that are considered conducive to seam and swing.
Given the circumstances here is a look at why Pakistan must consider playing all-rounder, Faheem Ashraf in order to give themselves a better chance of competing during the difficult tour.
Need to Go in with 5 Bowlers
The game against Kent pretty much exposed the fact that the Pakistani pacers lack the skill to leave behind a note-worthy impression when playing Test cricket. Mohammad Amir is not the same he was before he got banned and Hasan Ali is yet to convert his limited overs form to Test cricket.
Moreover, Shadab Khan who was selected following Yasir Shah’s injury is also new to the highest level of the game and thus, is prone to releasing pressure on the opposition by giving away too many runs. This basically means that the captain might not have another choice but to allow the leg-spinner not more than 20 overs a day and then ask his three front-line pacers to bowl somewhere around 60 to 65 of the remaining 70 overs.
A fifth bowler like Faheem Ashraf therefore, can play the stock bowler’s role that should help in reducing the work load of the front-line pacers. This will in turn relieve them of the pressure of containing a batting line, making it easy for them to focus on picking wickets at regular intervals rather than worrying about stopping the flow of runs.
Batting will Collapse Anyway
It matters little whether Pakistan plays 5, 6 or 7 batsmen. Given the conditions the batting is bound to collapse at some point during the tour. Hence, Pakistan is better off playing an all-rounder like Faheem Ashraf who is capable of scoring a quick 20 or 30 down the order. At the same time he also has the ability of providing support to the front-line bowlers who for most part of the tour are expected to be under enormous pressure to pick wickets and win games for the men in green.
Conditions Suit Faheem’s Style of Bowling
Faheem Ashraf’s bowling style suits the conditions on offer in Ireland and England. Hence, he is an ideal candidate who is capable of both containing a batting line and providing an important breakthrough or two in the middle of an innings.