Imam-ul-Haq during the post-match ceremony yesterday said that Pakistan’s ODI eleven doesn’t require the services of middle-order batters like Haris Sohail and Iftikhar Ahmed. His comments made little sense and so, here is a look at why.
What Did Imam-ul-Haq Say?
While giving his viewpoint on the matter Imam said, “If I tell you honestly, I don’t think so, because we don’t have time to do experiments. In Agha, Shadab and Nawaz, we have enough power-hitting in our ranks. We just need to give them confidence. Sometimes it is very different to come at number five or six and play only six or seven overs.
“Agha did really well today. He made 32 and took a wicket or two as well. Nawaz and Shadab are also really good hitters and all-rounders, so I think we need to give these guys confidence. We could have given a chance to Haris and Iftikhar if we had more matches. That is what I think. Babar might think differently. We have only two matches left, so we need to go into the big event after giving full confidence to our players.”
Why Imam Is Wrong
All-rounders like Salman Ali Agha, Mohd. Nawaz and Shadab Khan are better suited at numbers six, seven and eight. Upper-order batters like Shan Masood and Abdullah Shafique on the other hand have failed to settle down in the middle-order. Wicket-keeper batter, Mohd. Rizwan has also publicly voiced the desire to bat one position up i.e. at the crucial number four position. His track record in ODI cricket suggests that he is a good candidate to fill the slot during the upcoming ICC ODI world cup. Either way, Pakistan does require a middle-order specialist who can either bat at number four or five. So, to say that Pakistan can do without Iftikhar Ahmed or Haris Sohail is illogical and such statements make little or no sense at all!