- Pakistan has several options for their opening pair
- Fakhar Zaman’s Recent Form and Imam ul Haq’s Consistency
- Abdullah Shafique’s performance in the Asia Cup has generated optimism about his potential in the opening role
As the highly anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023 approaches, the excitement among cricket enthusiasts is reaching its climax. Pakistani fans, in particular, are eager to witness their favorite players shine on the global stage. However, recent disappointments in the Asia Cup have raised questions about Pakistan’s batting lineup, particularly its opening pair.
In any cricket match, a strong opening partnership lays the foundation for a competitive total on the scoreboard. For Pakistan, the options for the opening pair include the experienced Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq and the promising Abdullah Shafique.
Let’s delve into the recent performances of these three contenders in the ODI format:
If we scrutinize Fakhar Zaman’s last ten innings, it’s clear that his recent form hasn’t been impressive. The struggles he faced during the Asia Cup were evident. However, it’s important to remember that Fakhar Zaman is still at no 10 in ranking in ODI, He cannot be solely judged by his recent slump. He has a history of shining in crucial matches and has played pivotal roles in Pakistan’s victories on numerous occasions. Despite his current struggles, the question remains whether he should open the innings for Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.
|Match #||Opponent||Location||Date||Runs||Balls Faced||4s||6s||Strike Rate||Innings||Dismissal Type|
|1||New Zealand||Karachi||5 May 2023||33||90||6||0||51.56||1||caught|
|2||New Zealand||Karachi||7 May 2023||5||4||0||0||50.00||1||caught|
|3||Afghanistan||Hambantota||22 Aug 2023||30||34||5||0||88.23||1||bowled|
|4||Afghanistan||Hambantota||24 Aug 2023||27||33||5||0||81.81||1||caught|
|5||Afghanistan||Colombo (RPS)||26 Aug 2023||14||20||3||0||70.00||1||caught|
|6||Nepal||Multan||30 Aug 2023||–||–||–||–||–||–||TDNB|
|7||India||Pallekele||2 Sep 2023||20||31||3||0||64.51||2||lbw|
|8||Bangladesh||Lahore||6 Sep 2023||27||50||2||0||54.00||2||bowled|
|9||India||Colombo (RPS)||10 Sep 2023||4||11||0||0||36.36||1||bowled|
|10||Sri Lanka||Colombo (RPS)||14 Sep 2023||–||–||–|
Abdullah Shafique, on the other hand, is a relatively new face in international cricket. Despite his limited experience, his performance in the last matches of Asia Cup was promising. Many cricket enthusiasts are optimistic about Abdullah Shafique’s potential to provide stability and solid starts at the top of the order.
|2||6||5||0||0||40.00||1||bowled||1||v Netherlands||Rotterdam||21 Aug 2022|
|7||21||14||0||0||50.00||4||caught||2||v New Zealand||Rawalpindi||29 Apr 2023|
|19||31||23||0||1||82.60||4||caught||1||v New Zealand||Karachi||3 May 2023|
|52||98||69||3||2||75.36||1||caught||1||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (RPS)||14 Sep 2023|
Imam ul Haq
Another name that shouldn’t be overlooked is Imam ul Haq. Currently ranked at number 5 in the ODI batting rankings, Imam ul Haq has been a consistent performer in the form. Furthermore, Imam’s fielding skills add value to the team. He is an agile fielder, contributing to crucial run-outs and taking catches in the outfield. His remarkable performances in ODIs make him a strong candidate to open the innings for Pakistan.
|60||95||65||5||1||92.30||2||lbw||2||v New Zealand||Rawalpindi||27 Apr 2023|
|24||45||26||3||0||92.30||2||caught||2||v New Zealand||Rawalpindi||29 Apr 2023|
|90||166||107||7||1||84.11||2||bowled||1||v New Zealand||Karachi||3 May 2023|
|61||149||94||2||0||64.89||2||caught||1||v Afghanistan||Hambantota||22 Aug 2023|
|91||170||105||4||0||86.66||2||caught||2||v Afghanistan||Hambantota||24 Aug 2023|
|13||53||30||1||0||43.33||2||caught||1||v Afghanistan||Colombo (RPS)||26 Aug 2023|
|5||32||14||1||0||35.71||2||run out||1||v Nepal||Multan||30 Aug 2023|
|TDNB||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||v India||Pallekele||2 Sep 2023|
|78||150||84||5||4||92.85||2||bowled||2||v Bangladesh||Lahore||6 Sep 2023|
|9||23||18||1||0||50.00||2||caught||2||v India||Colombo (RPS)||10 Sep 2023|
As the World Cup draws nearer, the excitement continues to build. While fans eagerly await the commencement of this prestigious event, they also anticipate the crucial decision regarding Pakistan’s opening pair. Whether it’s Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam ul Haq, or a combination of these talented players, the hope is that they will provide Pakistan with the strong start they need to make a mark in the tournament. The answers will unfold on the field, and the world will be watching with bated breath as Pakistan takes on the world’s best in the Cricket World Cup 2023.