T20 World Cup: Salman Butt identifies problems with Iftikhar Ahmed

The right-handed batter has been struggling to perform for Pakistan for a long time now

By Web Desk
June 11, 2024
Salman Butt (L) states that Iftikhar Ahmed's batting stance limits his options. — Reuters/ICC

Former captain Salman Butt identified problems with Pakistan’s middle-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed as he has struggled to perform in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 which is being held in the United States and West Indies.

Iftikhar has so far represented Pakistan in 66 T20Is and batted in 55 innings where he only has 998 runs with a 24.34 average and a 129.10 strike rate. In the T20 World Cup, he only scored 23 runs in two matches.

Butt, while talking on YouTube, stated that Iftikhar’s reflexes are not that great because of his age and you have to be super fit to play at an extremely high at that age.

“Iftikhar, I don’t know maybe there is definitely something to do with the reflexes because at his age, you have to be super fit or otherwise your movements, they get slow. He is not a very young chap, he is quite an experienced player,” Butt said.

“He has been playing cricket for a long time, he has played domestic for so long. He made his debut for Pakistan in 2016 and it is 2024 now. So maybe his fitness and time, as he has spent a lot of time [playing cricket], things have gone slower for him and there are very limited options.”

Butt then added that Iftikhar played his entire domestic career as a middle-order but now he comes to bat when there are only three to four overs left. The former opener also revealed that the way Iftikhar bats, his options are very limited which bowlers easily identify.

"He was a proper batsman who used to play at middle-order but now he comes to bat when there are just three to four overs left and he only has one movement, he goes deep into the crease and wants to hit every shot on the leg side or maybe straight," he added.

"His arc towards the off stump is very limited and I think that the teams have picked that. The way he stands, his options are already limited and as soon as he does his initial movements, as a bowler you’d know where you have to bowl him."