March 7, 2016

T20 not a batsman's game for Pakistan

Their top-order batsmen struggle for fifties and keep getting out for ducks
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Pakistan's problems in T20 cricket in recent times can be attributed, in large part, to a wobbly top order. In the Asia Cup, their batting concerns were brutally exposed, but it was only the most recent chapter of an ongoing saga. Although the selectors have spread the net wide, they haven't been able to find players to fill the void. Here are some of their T20 numbers from January 2012:

  • Twenty different batsmen have batted in the top three for Pakistan - the most for any team
  • Pakistan's Powerplay run rate of 6.29 is the worst of any team in this period
  • A Pakistan batsman scores a fifty every 9.6 innings - the worst for any team

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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  • asad on March 8, 2016, 23:18 GMT

    Pakistan need to have a pool of players that they give equal number of chances. They have batting talent in guys like: Akmal, Sarfraz, Babar Azam, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Maqsood, Rizwan, Mukhtar, Sharjeel, Shehzad, Nauman, Fawad & Azhar. There is also this guy called Fakhar Zaman who had a good time against England Lions. These guys are all young (only Fawad & Azhar are in 30s) and they should be used in at least 2 formats each. It should be like this: Akmal (t20 & ODI & maybe test later), Sarfraz (all 3), Babar (all 3), Sami Aslam (ODI & test), Haris (all 3), Maqsood (t20 & ODI), Rizwan (t20 & ODI), Mukhtar (t20 & ODI), Sharjeel (t20 & ODI at least in asia), Shehzad (has talent for all 3 but not consistent), Nauman (t20 & ODI), Fawad (ODI & test), Azhar (ODI & test), Fakhar Zaman (t20 & ODI). If we do this then we'll have a group of talented batsmen & our bench strength will be good.

  • asad on March 8, 2016, 22:10 GMT

    Pakistan in the asia cup have been plying with a top 3 consisting of Sharjeel, Hafeez & Manzoor. Of those three I only have confidence in sharjeel that if he stays for 8-9 overs then a 180+ score is possible while the other 2 are terrible as Manzoor just struglles putting bat on ball & Hafeez looks rather fluent while batting then plays a stupid shot for a soft dismissal. I think both of these guys should be dropped. Pakistan have a strong middle order in Sarfraz, Akmal & Malik so these guys can be shifted up so that Sarfraz opens with Sharjeel & Akmal comes in at 3 with Malik at 4. Then the number 5 & 6 can be guys like Rizwan, Maqsood or Wasim. Suddenly our batting line up doesn't look so fragile anymore.

  • Talal on March 8, 2016, 18:34 GMT

    Bravo on the groundbreaking cricketing journalism. I and the whole the cricketing world have been enlightened by this succinct yet revealing insight into Pakistan's batting woes. Rajesh will your next article be about Australia travails in Asian conditions?

  • Peter on March 8, 2016, 18:02 GMT

    Thanks Rajesh, may I please forward this article to PCB ...still not too late to let Afridi and Imran Nazir open (Imran call up ,after Injury to Hafeez hamstring ) , history does repeat , meanwhile back to la-la land.

  • Pundit on March 8, 2016, 13:52 GMT

    The facts back the bleeding obvious....the worst batting line ever. They just look so devoid of techique and confidence at the crease. Poor body language, expression etc. I wish somebody could just express themselves...the answer to me is that they need to invest in youngsters for the long term,,perhaps picking from U 17 and u 19 squads, identify players with technique attitude and fitness to work with.

  •   Adeel Hassan on March 8, 2016, 13:35 GMT

    Whilst I agree to what you are trying to say, at the same time I have found the tone of your short article to be demeaning. I don't know whether you have got the right cricketing credentials but certainly there is a shortfall in your writing skills.

  • Mohd on March 8, 2016, 13:35 GMT

    Whats a irony...Pakistan playing T20 like ODI of 80's...how come they can cope with current style. They are insisting with the opener that are not good even for Test matches (Hafiz etc). They even don't know that T20 is game for batsman and pressure, bowler can take wicket in pressure. It is almost impossible to defend the low score because one or two batsman/anybody can bat like blunder....Whats the use of Afridi at 7...when he play nobody remains on other side..or how come he can score 30-40 runs on sky rocket RR... Pakistan surely would be top class T20 team in the world...Open with Afridi..bring Nazir, Razzak...no rocket science but no brain in PCB or Management....

  • Muhammad on March 8, 2016, 7:35 GMT

    Pakistani batsmen thinking they have 120 balls so they start playing like a test match to settle and they become out by lbw, after 5 overs they feel it's like one day match, they start running for runs they become run out and for the last 10 overs they come to know itsT20 they start hitting they become all out by easy catches even they not yet finished 20 overs quota. ah very very sad for all Pakistani spectators....

  • Edison on March 8, 2016, 6:29 GMT

    Just check the batting performance of Afridi as an opener in all 3 format of the game.. i think he is one of the best for the opening slot.. but i don't know why he himself go down to the order.. or why the team management didn't try to put him on the opening pair.. if he will come to bat as opener.. then he will be the most dangerous batsman than Gyle or Warner or Rohit.. no doubt..

  • Abhijith on March 8, 2016, 3:49 GMT

    The simple logic that good teams have is that your best batsman should face the most balls.That is the reason SA have promoted De Villiers to open, same with Chandimal.While good teams like India and New Zealand have a formidable Top 3 because they have placed their best batsmen there.While, in case of Pakistan their best batsman play at 4, 5 and 6(Sarfraz, Umar, Shoaib).In my opinion, this has to be the line up for their first game. Shehzad,Sharjeel,U.Akmal,S.Malik,Sarfaraz,Hafeez,Afridi,Imad Wasim,Md.Amir,Md.Irfan,Riaz

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