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Pakistan registered their first win of the tournament T20 World Cup 2022 of the tournament after beating the Netherlands by six wickets on Sunday (October 30). It wasn’t a convincing win as Pakistan struggled in their chase of the 92-run target, but the win was necessary to keep their hopes of a semi-final alive.
Pakistan ended up in fifth position with two points from their first three matches with a positive net record. Star openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are yet to make much of an impact with good opening partnerships in this tournament, leading fans and former cricketers to criticize the management.
Former Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir is the latest to highlight Pakistan’s struggles at the mega-tournament in Australia. Amir believes that Pakistan’s first struggles began during the reign of former head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, who replaced Fakhar Zaman with Rizwan.
“Yeh openers wala start huya tha jab Misbah bhai the, Rizwan ko uthake open karwa di thi aur Fakhar jaisa banda, jo iss time pe Pakistan ka best T20 opener hai, uspe churi pheri. (It all started with Misbah forcing Rizwan to open the innings and a guy like Fakhar Zaman, who is the best T20 opener at the moment, was suspended), Amir told 24 News on Sunday.
Babar and Rizwan are not ready to step out of their comfort zone: Mohammed Amir
Pundits say the management should bring the fitter Fakhar back to the starting position and bring Babar into the struggling middle order. Amir gave the example of other cricketers like Aiden Markram and Liam Livingstone who are natural openers but play in the middle order in international cricket. Amir also added that both Babar and Rizwan are not ready to step out of their comfort zone and play in the middle order.
“You see, Livingstone was the first in domestic cricket, but the English team wanted him to become a middle-order. He did it because he’s a good player, and now look at how long he’s been smashing the ball. The same was the case with Markram, who was first but performed so well at No.4.
“A good player performs in any situation. They just made Fakhar a scapegoat. Both the openers (Babar and Rizwan) are limited by the top order and are not ready to step out of their comfort zone,” Amir added.
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