Ex-Pakistan captain says 'afsos ki baat hai' following Hafeez's suggestion for Babar Azam to leave opening role
The former Pakistan captain didn't mince his words as he spoke about the suggestions for Babar Azam to vacate the opening spot.
Pakistan will be eyeing a much-improved show when they take on India in the Asia Cup 2022 match in Dubai on Sunday. This will be their second meeting in the continental tournament this year after Rohit Sharma's men had inflicted a five-wicket defeat on Pakistan last week in their group game. Throughout the group stage, Pakistan faced concerns with their opening order as captain Babar Azam failed to register a big score (10 and 9) in both games. Consequently, there have been suggestions from former Pakistan cricketers on a potential change in the top-order, with Babar coming at three.
Mohammad Hafeez had said on Saturday that Babar should “show a big heart as a leader” and vacate the opening spot, suggesting Fakhar Zaman's name for the opening role. However, former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt doesn't agree with the suggestion, insisting that such changes cannot be made after failures in merely “1-2 matches.”
“If Rizwan and Babar had trust in the middle-order that they can provide the flourish, why would they be playing carefully in the first place? This is my opinion. They're consistent players, we have chased 200 with these two. Everyone has their opinions,” Butt said on his official YouTube channel.
“You can't play Fakhar too low in the order. He can open and he can come at one-down. That's his game. You want to change a set pattern only after 1-2 games where they haven't performed? This is not happening for the first time. When they eventually chase in one game, you make them world no.1. Why do you have to decide their fate after every game?”
When the anchor points out that those who have played for Pakistan are suggesting the change in top order – possibly referring to Hafeez's comments – Butt said, "ye aur bhi afsos ki baat hai (then, it is even more disappointing).
“In our times, the middle-order used to remain the same but the openers kept on changing. In my 78 ODIs for Pakistan, I might have played with 15 openers,” said the former Pakistan skipper.
“It is the most difficult position and you want to keep making changes there. But no one wants to talk about middle-order. In the past 3 years, how many times have our middle-order won a match? It's just not sensible to change it. You have big grounds in the World Cup. Power-hitting alone won't work. Those who are giving such suggestions have played in Australia, they know the challenges there. So, you need to keep that in mind,” he further added.
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