T20 World Cup 2024: Misbah-ul-Haq weighs in on Pakistan’s opening dilemma

The former Pakistani captain led the team in the 2015 World Cup

By Web Desk
May 15, 2024
Former captain and head coach of Pakistan cricket team. — AFP

Former Pakistani captain Misbah-ul-Haq weighed in on Pakistan’s ongoing opening slot dilemma as Saim Ayub’s disappointing performances recently have once again sparked the debate.

Saim became Pakistan’s opener in T20Is earlier this year and he has been playing at that position since the away series against New Zealand which took place in January.

He continued in the same position during the five-match T20I series against the Black Caps last month as well as the recent Ireland series. The left-handed batter couldn’t fulfil the expectations.

During the Ireland series, he made 45 in the first T20I but only managed 6 and 14 in the other two T20Is. The left-hander has failed to score a half-century in his T20I career and questions regarding his spot in the playing XI have started to arise. With an average of 15.77, he has amassed 284 runs in 18 innings.

With many fans as well as experts asking to go back to the opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, Misbah wants Pakistan to continue with Babar and Saim as openers. The former skippers stated that the combination of left and right is crucial.

“I feel that the best opening combination, looking at the team, would be a right-left combination. That would be ideal. They are currently playing Saim Ayub, who is not delivering at the moment. I feel that different kinds of players – Saim on one end and Babar or Rizwan on the other end – can complement each other well,” Misbah said.

Earlier, while speaking to Geo News, Saim said that he focuses on winning the match for Pakistan rather than thinking about personal milestones.

“My target is Man of the Match, not fifty or a hundred. I don’t think about numbers as I aim to win the match for my team. It can be any figure, 50, 70 or 100, but I don’t think about that since I’m focused on winning the match,” Saim said.