Pakistan news April 30, 2012

I need to bat higher - Umar

Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batsman, has said he needs to bat higher up the order to covert his double figures scores to three figures. He scored his only ODI hundred three years back in Sri Lanka and has pressed for the chance to make more when Pakistan return to the country in June.

Pakistan's ODI line up is currently in transition with Umar moving around the middle order. He has been tried from No 3 to No. 7 with most of his success coming at No 6, where he has scored 935 runs in 28 matches at 40.65, and at No. 5, where his record stands at 811 in 21 matches at 40.55.

But Umar believes that a rise in the order will improve his record and he is making no secret about his ambition.

"It's a matter of the batting order that I'm not able to score a hundred," Umar told reporters in Lahore. "When I am batting down the order, sometimes I have to bat in a crisis when the top order has stumbled and sometimes I get fewer overs to bat otherwise I have the tendency to score in three figures."

Apart from the first three, Pakistan are flexible with their batting order, sending in batsmen accordingly to the state of the game. Umar said: "If I bat at the top of the order, mainly at No. 4, then it would be easy for me to extend my innings and convert my 30 and 40-odd scores to a hefty innings.

"I am doing all the necessary training with the coaches in the Academy and playing club matches to apply my learning. I am building myself to get ready for the Sri Lanka series where I had a wonderful debut. I am setting my target to be the man of the series."

Umar, 21, scored his maiden ODI hundred in his third match of his career while, on the third day of his debut Test, he hit a century, becoming only the second Pakistani to score a hundred on debut away from home.

He has gone on to play 63 ODIs and 16 Tests so far, but reaching a hiundred has been a rare instance for him since his hugely-impressive debut in 2009. His Test place is still uncertain though has an assured place in limited-over squad.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments