Abdul Rauf feels there is undue pressure on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan when they open the innings.

Abdul Rauf
Abdul Rauf. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan is gearing up to face West Indies for a four-match T20I series starting on Wednesday (28 July). With a dismal performance in the preceding series against England, the Men in Green will be eager to bounce back and try to put on a dominating performance against the host West Indies.

Speaking about the team combinations ahead of the series, former Pakistan fast bowler Abdul Rauf said the team should play genuine opening batters Sharjeel Khan and Fakhar Zaman against the Caribbean team.

Pakistan opened with Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq in the three ODI games against England. While the former looked good in patches, the latter had a dismal ODI series scoring only one fifty and failing in the next two games.

In the shortest format, Pakistan opened with skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. While both sizzled with the bat in three T20 matches, the other batters failed to provide much support. Now Rauf feels they should go with Zaman and Sharjeel instead.

“The team is depending on only two batsmen, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, which is not a good sign for the team,” he said to International The News.

The former fast bowler further opined that it was a wrong move to send Rizwan and Azam to open the innings. “Whenever either of the two fails, the entire batting line is mentally shattered,” he added.

Abdul Rauf feels other Pakistan batters should step up against West Indies

Rauf lauded the West Indies team for their recent good performance against Australia, as they defeated them 4-1. He feels the Pakistan batters should bring their A-game and look for scoring opportunities against the West Indies.

“They are not as strong as they were in the past though. But they have the advantage of home soil. They defeated Australia and Sri Lanka recently. Their confidence level is much higher than Pakistan,” he said.

Rauf also spoke about how the Pakistan team has failed to produce young players in the team for the past two to three years. The likes of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are still there in the team, and Rauf concluded by saying it’s because of the lack of good players coming to the team.


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