While flying high people doesn’t look at the weaknesses. This is may be the case with current Pakistan’s limited over side. A question arises that “if Pakistan think tank aware of their opening woes in shorter format of the game??”
Since Fakhar Zaman made his debut and promoted as an opener which is a customary position for him in batting order he has cemented his place and solved the half part of Pakistan’s opening problems but the unsolved mystery of other 50 % is not helping the Pakistan’s cause. This problem is not getting highlighted just because Pakistan is winning in limited over formats.
The problem at other end also effects the Fakhar Zaman as he either need to restrict himself from going bang bang due to early fall of his partner or sometimes needs to lose his head as sluggishness of his opening partner at the other end wasting his good work of scoring quick runs.
Let’s look at the comparison below in an ODI format of the game where Fakhar has batted with several opening batsman since his debut in June 2017. Fakhar Zaman has partnered with 5 different batsmen during his 13 match ODI career so far. Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shahzad, Imam ul Haq, Faheem Ashraf and Umer Amin all had tried to fill the opening slot but none of them have been able to cement his place.
In his ODI career Fakhar’s performance as an opener is far better than his partners and his statistics while pairing with different players at opening slot is clearly making him stand out . In below statistical evaluation it is evident Fakhar is providing impetus at top order with his free flowing batting but didn’t get support from the other end.
Same trend can also be witnessed in T20I’s where Fakhar has played with a career strike rate of 141.06 per 100 balls but his partners including Mohammad Hafeez, Umer Amin, Ahmed Shahzad and Haris Sohail can’t match the standards set by fellow partner. Only Babar Azam had complemented Fakhar Zaman better in T20I’s with his strike rate as an opener of 148.64 runs per 100 balls.
It’s high time for Pakistan to choose and stick to the opening partner who can score at a good pace if they want to stable their top order before the world cup 2019. In modern era when teams are scoring and chasing 400+ runs in ODI formats regularly, quick start and use of power play over is inevitable to create solid base for late order burst.
(ALL STATS ARE UPDATED TILL 5TH JULY, 2018, PAKISTAN VS ZIMBABWE T20I)