Opening Stand for Pakistan!

There has been a long discussion and debate over the performance of Pakistani openers over last 8 years almost. Probably Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwer were last pair of openers which was reliable and had delivered over the years. After Aamir Sohail, there was a sudden problem of Saeed’s partner. Shahid Afridi had accompanied him for a long time despite of heavy criticism on his performance.

The problem has become more severe after departure of Saeed Anwer from international cricket after World Cup 2003. A lot of boys have been tested for this position but no has been able to get a permanent position. Some of those have performed well but could not maintain their form.

Some of those who performed are:

Imran Nazir:

Imran Nazir is right handed out standing batsman. He plays cut short and off drive with perfection. He had some problem with his technique and concentration that’s why he is out of international cricket now. He was also a superb fielder at point.

Yasir Hameed:

Yasir Hameeed started his test carrier with marvellous 170 in his first innings and a century in 2 innings. He played superb against many teams and proved himself on foreign tour as well. But a problem he faced from start was that once he crosses 50 runs he loses his concentration and so his wicket playing some unwanted shot. At the moment he is out of international squad.

Tufeeq Umer:

A Left handed batsman and a very good slip fielder who had proved his defending ability on certain occasions is probably out of squad for scoring slowly in ODIs. But he has got a chance now as he has been called in England after failure of openers in first match of Lords.

Muhammad Hafeez:

Muhammad Hafeez is a right handed batsman and a spin bowler as well. He has played many matches. He contributed with both batting and bowling but failed on many occasion that’s why he is also out of team. He has been performing well in domestic cricket and played well against India, Australia and South Africa in A team in Australia last month. It is heard that he might get a chance in current series against England.

Imran Farhat:

Imran Farhat, left handed batsman has also contributed over last years for Pakistan. He is basically an attacking player. He has got a weakness of concentrating when he gets a start. He is often caught at mid on playing an unnecessary and non existing pull or hook shot.

Salman Butt:

Salman Butt, no doubt hero of Calcutta, is loved by his fans. He is a sort of flashy players and plays beautiful drive in covers. He has a bit similar style to that of Saeed Anwer. He got his position confirmed when he made a match winning century in Calcutta against India in Indian Cricket Board’s silver Jubilee match. Similar to Saeed Anwer, he has got bad habit of chasing the ball going out side the off stump and gives an edge to slip or wicket keeper. But he is quite frequent in this mistake that he always gets out in same manner. No doubt he needs to work hard on this problem to get his position back.

Shoaib Malik:

Shoaib Malik is a hard working player. He came to team as a bowler and came back again as an all-rounder and now he is there as specialist batsman. He has been playing at number three position for a long time and performed well but Inzi has tried him now as opener and he did well against SriLanka. Now a days he is really required person.

Shahid Afridi:

Though this man must be discussed first of all but he is at end because he is still in team though not as opener. But he has been a consistent (in bad performance as well) opener rather long term opener for Pakistan immediately after his arrival. He has always been sent as opener only to get some quick runs in early field restricted (power play) overs. Now a days he is performing well at 6th or 7th position but occasionally he is sent earlier according to situation

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