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Pakistan look to Complete Whitewash in Harare

Posted by on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 13:04
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Pakistan will take on Zimbabwe in the second T20I on Tuesday with a chance to whitewash the hosts after registering a hard-fought 13-run win in the first match at the Harare Sports Club.

Pakistan vs Zimbabwe

Pakistan vs Zimbabwe

Skipper Shahid Afridi opted to give several youngsters a chance in the opener, preferring Sohaib Maqsood over seasoned all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and promoting Immad Wasim up the batting order. In addition, Imran Khan Jr made his debut and bowled an impressive final over under pressure, despite going for runs in the first three.

Sohaib failed to fire on his comeback but Immad was electric; grabbing a career-best four-wicket haul, while he also scored a quick-fire 18 with the bat on his way to the man of the match award.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said that Immad could become a good all-rounder in the shorter formats of the game but needs to bat higher up the order. “Immad has shown that he can do well in international cricket, but he needs to be managed properly,” Latif told The Express Tribune. “He has a decent first-class record and I feel he should be utilised somewhere in the top order because his potential can’t be maximised if he bats lower down. His bowling is good as well because he looks to contain the batsmen and forces them to make mistakes.”

On Imran’s debut, Latif said that the bowler will take a bit of time to adjust as he looked nervous in his first international outing but has the potential to toy with the batsmen with his clever varieties for at least seven to eight months before teams start to pick up his slower deliveries.

The former wicketkeeper also added that Pakistan’s problem lies in the high number of dot-balls they play, with the team also unable to utilise the first six overs to good effect; hence putting the middle-order under pressure.

“We aren’t playing the way other teams do in T20Is,” he said. “They go after the bowling in the powerplay, whereas our percentage of dot balls is much higher as compared to other top teams. We definitely need to improve on that aspect if we want to challenge big teams.”

Meanwhile, another former Test cricketer Jalaluddin said that the selectors and the team management should have waited till the World T20 in India next year to unleash Imran as a surprise weapon.

He felt that the standout bowler of the National T20 will lose his effectiveness if he plays a lot before the mega event as teams will start working on him and figure him out. “As soon as Imran does well in three or four matches, all teams will start working out a plan against him and his effectiveness will diminish,” said Jalaluddin. “In my view, he should have been used as the surprise weapon in the World T20 because teams would have gotten less time to work against him and he would have won matches for Pakistan.”

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