"Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should be Pakistanís openers in T20 cricket" : Shahid Afridi


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  1. #1
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    "Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should be Pakistanís openers in T20 cricket" : Shahid Afridi

    Speaking on his YT Channel:

    ďEveryone has their opinion but I think that Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should be Pakistanís openers in T20 cricket. Even if one of them clicks, we will win the game inside the first six overs"

    ďIím not happy with Fakhar Zamanís batting position. I donít know who has told him to bat at number five or six because he has played as an opener throughout his career. Our team needs an opener like him who can score as many runs as possible in the first six overs"

    ďNo, he [Azam Khan] should not be part of the side right now. He doesnít have the required form and fitness. He needs to work really hard on them and especially his fitness"


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  2. #2
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    Misbahís fault for not letting us see Sharjeel and Fakhar open. Instead we have 2 accumulators at the top who canít change gears.

  3. #3
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    Silly from Afridi.

    Pakistan needs openers who can provide a solid start consistently, especially on low scoring UAE pitches in the WC. Babar-Rizwan is perfect for that.

  4. #4
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    Fakhar and Sharjeel combo is a blockbuster . Pakistan fans would definitely love to see that

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    No wonder we gave the worst pefomance at world t20 under him.

    Under misbah, pakistan figured out a great strategy and that was to use your two best batsmen at the upper order just so that powerplay advantage could be taken and the players who like to build innings could take their time.

    Having babar and rizwan in middle helped no one as the runrate would slpw down if we got a fast start.

    Also, sharjeel khan isnt consisstent and his fitness is terroble.

    Fakhar zaman is a hitter, in t20 whether he does it as opener or at 3 down doesnt matter.

    Even hafeez is an opener, but you cannot adjust everyone in the team you have to look at your strengths and what is suitable.

    Rizwan and babar have done well as openers but yet we will find people have issue with this because their favourites dont get to play


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    Quote Originally Posted by Asif321 View Post
    Fakhar and Sharjeel combo is a blockbuster . Pakistan fans would definitely love to see that
    ? How so? Just because they are hitters?

    Even in t20 cricket you need sensibility, especially in the powerplay overs.

    Having hitters like fakhar and sharjeel also means that you could be 3 down in the pp and than expect your inning building players to revive who than take their time.

    The benefit of babar and rizwan is that as they stay at the crease they end up scoring more runs and the runrate improves.


    "Life is Pain"
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  8. #7
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    Now to ask for Sharjeel also is a bit silly.

    Doubt they will get that wish. Fakhar could well open though.

  9. #8
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    Yeah I guess one of the most dynamic cricketers in the history of Pakistan doesn’t know what he is talking about...

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Speaking on his YT Channel:

    “Everyone has their opinion but I think that Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan should be Pakistan’s openers in T20 cricket. Even if one of them clicks, we will win the game inside the first six overs"

    “I’m not happy with Fakhar Zaman’s batting position. I don’t know who has told him to bat at number five or six because he has played as an opener throughout his career. Our team needs an opener like him who can score as many runs as possible in the first six overs"

    “No, he [Azam Khan] should not be part of the side right now. He doesn’t have the required form and fitness. He needs to work really hard on them and especially his fitness"
    Totally agree. Pakistan is currently blessed with 2 most aggressive openers (Sharjeel & Fakhar) they have ever produced, yet first one is out of team and second one would not be played as an opener. Horrible planning

  11. #10
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    I don't think Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan would work in UAE. They need pace on the ball and you won't get that in UAE.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeymurBlake View Post
    I don't think Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan would work in UAE. They need pace on the ball and you won't get that in UAE.
    I don’t think Australia will change the Warner+Finch combo, or England will change Roy and Bairstow combination just because it’s UAE

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    I don’t think Australia will change the Warner+Finch combo, or England will change Roy and Bairstow combination just because it’s UAE
    That doesn't mean it will be successful.

  14. #13
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    Sharjeel
    Fakhar
    Babar
    Rizwan
    Hafeez
    Malik

    That is a solid batting unit. Sharjeel needs to be in the squad, he is in form.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeymurBlake View Post
    That doesn't mean it will be successful.
    They will stick to their guns. And even if one of the two guns fires, your side will be in a winning position, especially in potential low scoring chases.

    Finch+Warner
    Gayle+Lewis
    Rohit+Rahul
    Roy+Bairstow
    Guptil+Seifert

    These are the sides that are going for the win. Look at the tanks they are sending to open. What is our response? Babar and Rizwan?

  16. #15
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    The issue is that if Babar and Rizwan are in the playing 11, the only suitable position for them is as openers and they have proved that they are good at it in different conditions. But they cannot be accommodated in the middle order as both of them take time to settle on crease which kills the momentum. And it's absolutely logical to use both of these players to gain momentum at the start of innings instead of killing the gained momentum in the middle overs.

    Fakhar and Sharjeel are just unlucky in the sense that Babar and Rizwan are not drop-able from the team in current situation. That is why both of them should look towards the vacant middle order slots and try to grab them if they want to be in T20I team.

  17. #16
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    Rich, coming from a guy who played 4 pacers in a WC match against India in India

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    They will stick to their guns. And even if one of the two guns fires, your side will be in a winning position, especially in potential low scoring chases.

    Finch+Warner
    Gayle+Lewis
    Rohit+Rahul
    Roy+Bairstow
    Guptil+Seifert

    These are the sides that are going for the win. Look at the tanks they are sending to open. What is our response? Babar and Rizwan?
    Babar and Rizwan are actually the batsmen who have proved themselves in the opening positions and they are the most important and classy batsmen in Pakistan team according to opposition. So yes, this is our response and it's not bad when we look at the T20I rankings of batsmen.

  19. #18
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    I like Babar+ Rizwan opening combo, it has worked so far (they have shown that they can go at a high RR if needed) and you shouldn't fix what's not broken.

    The only concern is if these two openers get out cheaply somehow, then there is a lack of solid batsmen in the middle order. I guess that is where Hafeez and Malik come in.

  20. #19
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    In 2021, our batting line up will be:

    Babar
    Rizwan
    Hafeez
    Malik
    Sarfaraz

    My God we might as well try to win the 1999 cricket World Cup!

  21. #20
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    Who’s missing in this team? We should probably bring Azhar Ali in to bat at no.3, Faheem Ashraf wouldn’t be the worst at number 6 either


  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytrader View Post
    Rich, coming from a guy who played 4 pacers in a WC match against India in India
    Took us to the SF in a WC, something Misbah failed to do.😬

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytrader View Post
    Rich, coming from a guy who played 4 pacers in a WC match against India in India
    What would you say if Eoin Morgan or Dhoni had the same opinion?

  24. #23
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    Still stats donít lie. Look at the stats of rizwan and compare that to Sharjeel or Fakhar in the national team. Average of 48.40 at 129.09 to 22.55 at 133.11.

    And about the fact you said that Rizwan is scoring because he got to many chances to open the innings. So you are blaming coaches because they gave a cricketer chances to proove himself??? Hahaha well my friend, you get chances because you deserve them. Rizwan was (still is) the best wicketkeeper then and he was already opening the innings in domestic t20 before he openend in the national team. Fakhar wasnít performing in T20ís and Sharjeel had no substantial scores to make a case, so it was easy to give Rizwan a chance and boy did he grab that!

    Make no mistakes, i am a big fan of Sharjeel and i think they should slot him somehow in but you canít blame Rizwan for being a good player in Pakistan.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeymurBlake View Post
    I don't think Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan would work in UAE. They need pace on the ball and you won't get that in UAE.
    Both of them are smart enough to adjust. The power they bring to the table cannot be ignored. Even if one of them clicking means Pakistan will score big as both of them scores a lot more runs in less balls.

  26. #25
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    Fakhar was given amble opportunity to prove himself as an opener since 2018. He failed to prove himself as seen with his average of 21.

    Sharjeel had his opportunity to be our main stay opener for the next half a decade in 2017, however it's pretty clear he wasn't serious about representing Pakistan when he choose to prioritise money over honour. Even now it's clear he isn't serious about representing Pakistan, as considering in the 3 years he was banned he could have at the very least worked on his fitness to improve his value as a cricketer.

  27. #26
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    The stats don't care about your feelings. Every modern game is becoming more analytical and so has cricket. Statistically, Babar and Rizwan opening pair are the best openers in IT20 at the moment and are Pakistan's best in it's history. They have chased Paks highest t20 chase, have made Paks highest t20 total, have Paks highest opening partnership and they have done that in the last year. It's absolutely phenomenal numbers! Anyone that wants obese fixer Sharjeel and Fahkar as openers are going by their perceived notion of big hitter but are ignorant of the way that t20 cricket has changed.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    What would you say if Eoin Morgan or Dhoni had the same opinion?
    I think it's embarrassing to compare the two vs Afridi on tactical nuances. Dhoni has been a master tactician and arguably the GOAT. Btw the match I referred to, Dhoni was the opposing captain. Just take a look at that to see the difference.

  29. #28
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    Asking because of ignorance and nothing else. Can anyone list the top #3 international inningsí for each of these two in the last 1-2 years or so?

    Donít get me wrong, but Afridi makes them sound like Jayasuriya and Gilchrist incarnates. Do they have it in them to live up to these expectations?

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytrader View Post
    I think it's embarrassing to compare the two vs Afridi on tactical nuances. Dhoni has been a master tactician and arguably the GOAT. Btw the match I referred to, Dhoni was the opposing captain. Just take a look at that to see the difference.
    I’m not comparing the two, you are just going emotionally overboard because Afridi hasn’t said something you agree with because Rizwan’s position is in question. I’m just asking, if Dhoni or Morgan randomly said the same thing, will you go emotionally overboard once again?

  31. #30
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    I wonder what happens if both rizwan and babar get out cheaply who will lift the game for Pakistan?

  32. #31
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    Fakhar and Sharjeel can be a destructive opening pair (both in ODI and T20). Afridi has a point.


    Bangladeshi Man

  33. #32
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    Sharjeel isn't playing international cricket with Ramiz at the helm.

    Regarding Fakhar, the thing is he takes a bit of time to get going as an opener. In SENA and faster pitches, he can find boundaries earlier on with the ball coming at the bat quickly but in UAE, teams are simply going to open the bowling against him with spin and he doesn't like to take on spin earlier on. He is at his best against spin when he is attacking it.

  34. #33
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    Afridi was never the brightest First pakistan need hafeez and malik

    And now another beauty

  35. #34
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    A situation of 80 for 0 after 6 overs or 10 for 2 after 2 overs.



  36. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bala977 View Post
    Asking because of ignorance and nothing else. Can anyone list the top #3 international inningsí for each of these two in the last 1-2 years or so?

    Donít get me wrong, but Afridi makes them sound like Jayasuriya and Gilchrist incarnates. Do they have it in them to live up to these expectations?
    Fakhar Zaman is the only outright match-winner in this team, who can be guaranteed to have a good day and turn the tide towards Pakistan. His 189 vs RSAís first choice bowling attack is quite possibly the one of the best knocks in ODI cricket.

    That being said, Babar and Rizwan are our best opening partnership, so Fakhar and Sharjeel rightfully donít get a look in as openers.

  37. #36
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    I am quite sure Afridi hasn't bothered to look at their recent outings leave alone analyzing how they bat on UAE kind of pitches.
    Will be good for PCB if Afridi is put on mute by them.

  38. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by srh View Post
    Both of them are smart enough to adjust. The power they bring to the table cannot be ignored. Even if one of them clicking means Pakistan will score big as both of them scores a lot more runs in less balls.
    The problem is teams will know how to ball to them. Sharjeel and Fakhar need pace on the ball to hit, if you take that away, they will struggle. Its either boundary or dot ball or wicket with these two.

  39. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    A situation of 80 for 0 after 6 overs or 10 for 2 after 2 overs.
    We can still be 10 for 2 after 2 overs with Rizwan and Babar, but weíll never be 80 for 0 after 6 overs with them, and thatís the risk most teams are willing to take. Otherwise weíd see the likes of Root, Smith, Williamson opening.

  40. #39
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    Afridi thibks like a typical Pakistan fan.

    Basing his opinion on perception and past performances instead of stats and current form.

  41. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by YousafTheBeast View Post
    We can still be 10 for 2 after 2 overs with Rizwan and Babar, but we’ll never be 80 for 0 after 6 overs with them, and that’s the risk most teams are willing to take. Otherwise we’d see the likes of Root, Smith, Williamson opening.
    The difference is that England has Roy and Bairstow, two of the most destructive opening batsmen in the game.

    With Roy and Bairstow, there are hardly any weaknesses apart from over-aggression, when they try to bludgeon a good ball instead of playing it on its merit.

    Fakhar can't play finger-spin, Sharjeel can't rotate the strike, Sharjeel also struggles against left-arm pace, Fakhar struggles against the good-length ball by chopping it on or nicking it.

    With Babar and Rizwan, you'll be at 40-0 on average and 60-0 on a good day, which is something I'd personally take if it means security at the top of the order.

  42. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by UzmanBeast View Post
    The difference is that England has Roy and Bairstow, two of the most destructive opening batsmen in the game.

    With Roy and Bairstow, there are hardly any weaknesses apart from over-aggression, when they try to bludgeon a good ball instead of playing it on its merit.

    Fakhar can't play finger-spin, Sharjeel can't rotate the strike, Sharjeel also struggles against left-arm pace, Fakhar struggles against the good-length ball by chopping it on or nicking it.

    With Babar and Rizwan, you'll be at 40-0 on average and 60-0 on a good day, which is something I'd personally take if it means security at the top of the order.
    Jason Roy averages 24 in T20iís, heís not a better player than Fakhar and Sharjeel. Every batsman has a weakness, itís just that whenever we play England we make their openers look special with our mediocre bowling.

    Jason Roy is on par with Sharjeel and Fakhar, difference is that one is backed more regardless if he gets out early.

  43. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    Yeah I guess one of the most dynamic cricketers in the history of Pakistan doesn’t know what he is talking about...
    Trust me Afridi has one of the lowest cricketing IQs (and perhaps overall IQ) out of all the current and ex-players.

    He even admitted he was not a good captain.

  44. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspin View Post
    Trust me Afridi has one of the lowest cricketing IQs (and perhaps overall IQ) out of all the current and ex-players.

    He even admitted he was not a good captain.
    But saying Fakhar and Sharjeel should be Pakistan’s openers is a correct call. No one is going the Pakistan route, only Pakistan go this route.

    Do you see Australia considering to open with Smith and Marnus, or India with Kohli and Rahane?


    "The Indian bowling attack is as devastating as the Teletubbies"- Sir Ian Botham

  45. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by YousafTheBeast View Post
    We can still be 10 for 2 after 2 overs with Rizwan and Babar, but we’ll never be 80 for 0 after 6 overs with them, and that’s the risk most teams are willing to take. Otherwise we’d see the likes of Root, Smith, Williamson opening.
    Rizwan and Babar have been Pakistan's most reliable batsmen in recent times. The guys who gave scored the bulk of the runs.



  46. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by YousafTheBeast View Post
    Jason Roy averages 24 in T20i’s, he’s not a better player than Fakhar and Sharjeel. Every batsman has a weakness, it’s just that whenever we play England we make their openers look special with our mediocre bowling.

    Jason Roy is on par with Sharjeel and Fakhar, difference is that one is backed more regardless if he gets out early.
    No, in terms of quality, Roy is far ahead of Fakhar and Sharjeel. Take a look at his ODI career and some of the knocks he has played.

    Only Fakhar is actually comparable with good openers around the world, Sharjeel is nothing in front of Warner, Roy, Bairstow, de Kock, etc.

    ECB have a different brand of cricket, PCB has a different one. Our management thinks that Fakhar and Sharjeel are not consistent enough for a top-order slot, though I would say that they should have tested the Fakhar-Sharjeel combination once.

    The thing is; it's not Rizwan's or Babar's fault that they performed and took that spot as their own when the opportunity came to them.

  47. #46
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    Interestingly, Afridi wants to represent QG in PSL 7 but then he comments on fitness of son of QG's head coach. Moin is definitely not going to like it.

    Regrading the openers, all the Pakistanis need to give it a rest. The openers are set and actually performing. Fakhar-Sharjeel combo is never tested. They had their chances but both failed to grab that spot.

  48. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    But saying Fakhar and Sharjeel should be Pakistan’s openers is a correct call. No one is going the Pakistan route, only Pakistan go this route.

    Do you see Australia considering to open with Smith and Marnus, or India with Kohli and Rahane?
    Fakhar and Sharjeel arent a tried and tested combination
    Lets be honest fakhar is lucky to still be in the squad His t20 performances have been poor over the last yr or so

    The only good thing about pakistans t20 batting is it opening very successful combo and you want to change that

    It doesnt make sense You dont change something thats working very well

  49. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaz View Post
    Fakhar and Sharjeel arent a tried and tested combination
    Lets be honest fakhar is lucky to still be in the squad His t20 performances have been poor over the last yr or so

    The only good thing about pakistans t20 batting is it opening very successful combo and you want to change that

    It doesnt make sense You dont change something thats working very well
    Is it working well for the team though? Is Babar and Rizwan opening combo best for the team? Do we really need 2 accumulators at the top in T20ís? The difference between a player like Fakhar and someone like Babar in T20iís is that one plays for the team, isnít worried about personal milestones, doesnít struggle to change gears etc, whereas the other you canít say the same for.

    IIRC, Bairstow and Roy were Englandís opening pair, they did pretty well together but England still werenít happy and brought Buttler up the order as an opener. Theyíre always looking to improve, even if the opening pair is doing well. Theyíre asking more from their players, but weíre settling for 2 accumulators without testing other combinations and not seeing if thereís better options.

  50. #49
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    You will usually see Rizwan get less than 10 runs in 15 balls. And then he will hit a six and a 4 to get a kick start. And then he will slow down for a bit and get to 40 off 35. And then a couple of boundaries to get to 50 off 40.


    At some point along this process, the Shamis, Bumrahs, Cummins, Starcs, Jofras, Boults, Nortjes will knock him over. Sometimes he will survive.

    At the end of the day, it’s cricket

  51. #50
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    I don't see a lot of international (or even domestic) innings where Fakhar or Sharjeel consistently play a 60 (35) type innings. Both of these players are highly inconsistent and they play high risk shots.

    Fakhar was a sitting duck in PSL's UAE leg. I don't know where this fascination comes from that Sharjeel-Fakhar combo will be better than Babar-Rizwan combo. If we look at the stats, then Babar-Rizwan combo is the best opening combo in the world. And here the fans are complaining that they are not the deserving openers.

  52. #51
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    Why wasn't Fakhar allowed to open in the ongoing T20 competition is beyond me.. we have forced our middle orders to open the innings whereas openers are being asked to find ways to play in middle order..

    plan of a genius

  53. #52
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    You play your best players at the top in t20s They face the most deliveries bat for the longest and hence have a bigger impact just like babar and rizwan are doing

    Only some fans cant get the jist of it

  54. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaz View Post
    You play your best players at the top in t20s They face the most deliveries bat for the longest and hence have a bigger impact just like babar and rizwan are doing

    Only some fans cant get the jist of it
    What nonsense

    So Roy, Bairstow, Rohit, KL, Warner, Finch, Gayle, Lewis etc (all openers) are the best players in each team?

    I guess England should open with Morgan and Butler

    Also, Pakistan’s best and most impactful T20 batsman is Hafeez , not Babar or Rizwan regardless of how many runs they make batting at the top
    Last edited by Rana; 11th October 2021 at 19:05.

  55. #54
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    Even after a year or so of facing all the b team bowlers of South Africa and England+ Zimbabwe, Mohammad Rizwan has a strike rate below 130. Babar is striking at 130 lool.

    If Misbah ul Haq becomes the coach of Australia, you can expect him to make Smith and Labushange open.

    If Misbah becomes the coach of England, he will make Root and Malan open.

    If Misbah becomes the coach of India, you might even see Kohli and Pujara open.

    Misbah gave Imam ul Haq a T20i debut as well. He is the architect of this opening combination of Babar+Rizwan, even though he had ample time to build the Fakhar+Sharjeel combination

  56. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    Even after a year or so of facing all the b team bowlers of South Africa and England+ Zimbabwe, Mohammad Rizwan has a strike rate below 130. Babar is striking at 130 lool.

    If Misbah ul Haq becomes the coach of Australia, you can expect him to make Smith and Labushange open.

    If Misbah becomes the coach of England, he will make Root and Malan open.

    If Misbah becomes the coach of India, you might even see Kohli and Pujara open.

    Misbah gave Imam ul Haq a T20i debut as well. He is the architect of this opening combination of Babar+Rizwan, even though he had ample time to build the Fakhar+Sharjeel combination
    Can you just stop with your nonsense facts to make your story and hate against Rizwan look good? Rizwan is striking at 140 in 2021. His career strike rate is lower because he played at number 6/7 in his first couple of years in internation T20.

    You are always the first to comment and hate if rizwan played a slow inning, while your lover Sharjeel was on 15 of 23 balls couple days back and made eventually 25 of 26 by playing 2 hacks. His last inning was a duck also but havenít heard you then??

    Just stop man. It can not be changed and it is how it is. Accept it and come with something else.

  57. #56
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    Pakistan should stick to thier guns and Babar and Rizwan should open don't fix what's not broken


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