I want to bat at No. 4 - Umar Akmal
Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has said he is keen to move up the batting order and will work towards convincing the team management about his promotion in the national side.
"I feel that No. 4 is ideal for me and I am trying to do well lower down the order with a view to maybe being promoted up the batting order," Akmal, who currently bats at No. 6 both in Tests and ODIs, told Pakpassion.net. "But I need to win over the captain, coach and management, and convince them that I am responsible enough to bat at No. 4. However, I'm grateful that I am in the team and would bat at whatever position the team requires."
Akmal, who has made 988 runs in 15 Tests, at an average of 36.59, said he was focussing on becoming a better Test batsman. "Test cricket is where I really want to make my name and that format in which I feel I can achieve the most," he said. "I am still learning the game, but I feel I can definitely make great strides in this format and prove to everyone that I have the skill and temperament to play five-day cricket."
To do this, Akmal is aware he will have to curb his penchant for throwing away solid starts. In the recently-concluded Test series in the West Indies, he got past 30 in all four innings he played, but managed to cross 50 just once making 56.
He admitted recklessness has no place in the format. "Test cricket has changed over the years and scoring rates are much quicker, matches are finishing quicker, but that does not mean that a reckless approach is necessary.
"My approach will always be positive and if I see a bad ball I will always try to hit it to the boundary, but my main objective is to bat according to the team's requirement at that time. Nobody feels worse than I do when I play an irresponsible shot. Walking back to the pavilion is hard enough after playing a poor shot, but then having to sit there and thinking about the shot you have just played is really tough, especially when the wicket is a good batting track."
Though he looked to be striking the ball well, Akmal did not make much of a contribution with the bat in the West Indies, apart from the solitary half-century in the Tests. His top score in the limited-overs leg was 41 in the one-off Twenty20 game at Gros Islet. Akmal said he felt the tour could have gone better for him. "I'm not entirely satisfied with my performance in the Caribbean, but then again not totally unhappy with it. It was an average tour but I need to move on and look ahead to the future."