Shoaib Akhtar recommends Fakhar Zaman over Imam-ul-Haq for the India showdown at World Cup 2023


Shoaib Akhtar calls for lineup change ahead of high-stakes Pakistan vs. India World Cup clash


Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has expressed his desire to see a strategic change in the Pakistan cricket team’s lineup for the crucial World Cup clash against arch-rivals India. In a video message shared on social media, Akhtar offered his insights on the team’s performance and captaincy.

Shoaib Akhtar’s concerns revolved around the team’s choice of opening partnership. He advocated for Fakhar Zaman to be given the opportunity to open the innings alongside Abdullah Shafique, instead of Imam-ul-Haq. In Akhtar’s view, this change would inject more dynamism into Pakistan’s batting and enhance their chances of success in the high-stakes match against India.

Fakhar Zaman, the left-handed opener known for his blistering 210 not out against Zimbabwe in 2018, has struggled to find form in recent innings, with a best score of only 33 in his last 11 outings. This slump followed his remarkable run of three consecutive centuries against New Zealand earlier in the year. Despite his recent struggles, Akhtar remained optimistic about Zaman’s potential to make an impact.

Imam-ul-Haq, on the other hand, was cited for his recent performance in the World Cup group-stage matches. In the match against Sri Lanka, he was dismissed for a mere 12 runs as Pakistan chased a target of 345. Akhtar implied that this performance raised questions about Imam-ul-Haq’s suitability as an opening partner for Abdullah Shafique.

Akhtar emphasized the importance of recognizing the uniqueness of the Pakistan cricket team and the significance of the India match, emphasizing that Pakistan is not Afghanistan. He also acknowledged the need for improvement in Babar Azam’s captaincy and expressed his belief that the skipper would rise to the occasion and score prolifically against India, given his history as a big-match player.

In conclusion, Shoaib Akhtar advocated for a change in the opening partnership suggesting that Fakhar Zaman could bring a new dimension to Pakistan’s batting alongside Abdullah Shafique. His comments also shed light on his expectations for Babar Azam’s performance and the importance of the India match in the context of Pakistan’s cricketing rivalry.

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