Babar and Rizwan should not open the batting in the T20Is – Mickey Arthur

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Mickey Arthur jumps in to advise Pakistan players

Former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan should not open the innings for Pakistan in the T20Is, instead one of them should bat at number 3 and Fakhar Zaman should open.

Pakistan all-format skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are the highest ranked batters for the country and have been successful in opening the innings. But Mickey Arthur has a different opinion.

Former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan should not open the innings for Pakistan in the T20Is, instead one of them should bat at number 3 and Fakhar Zaman should open.

“You’d want to probably send Fakhar Zaman up and have a left-right batting combination so that the bowlers are bowling different angles, and you have Babar or Rizwan come in at No. 3 so that there is a little more depth and someone can play the sheet anchor role for them and hold one end up while the others revolve around these guys,”

said Mickey on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out.

“I think they should [separate Babar and Rizwan]. Fakhar hits the ball in different areas, it frustrates the bowlers a little bit,”

Arthur said.

“It is the different angles, you’ve got left-hand and right-hand. So, spread Babar and Rizwan and you put Fakhar Zaman back at the top.”

On the other hand, Arthur gave his opinion that Pakistan has a very weak middle-order unlike during his times when the team had the likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

“In terms of blueprint, when I was with Pakistan, and we had a more successful time in T20 cricket, we used to set ourselves to get 160 batting first and then rely on our bowlers to squeeze,”

Arthur said.

“We used to build as best we can, and that was quite a good recipe for us. The difference between that team and the team now is that in the middle, we had Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. In the middle now, they are a very young outfit, they don’t have much experience, and when you get them three wickets down early, I think they are going to struggle,”

he concluded.

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