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Asif Ali brings aggression and power hitting to the Pakistani batting line-up: Ramiz Raja

Asif wasn't selected in the Pakistan World Cup squad.

Asif Ali
Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Last month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named the national squad for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales, starting May 30. Pakistan are scheduled to lock horns with the Windies in their first match. As far as the squad is concerned, there were a number of notable inclusions, one of them was Asif Ali, who made his ODI debut last year in July against Zimbabwe.

However, the 27-year-old is a part of the Pakistan squad that is currently playing a five-match ODI series versus England. The right-hander from Faisalabad, Punjab got a chance of showing his mettle in the second match at the Rose Bowl in Southampton where he scored a half-century off 34 deliveries with a couple of fours and four colossal blows over the ropes.

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Too much pressure on Asif Ali feels Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan cricketer, feels that Asif is under a lot of pressure after not being included in the provisional squad for the mega event. He also feels that every game before the World Cup is a trial game for him.

“There is a lot of undue pressure created on Asif by not selecting him. However, he showcased his hitting talent and batted really well because Asif is [under] a lot of pressure as every match for him is a trial match,” Ramiz was quoted as saying in Business Recorder.

The former skipper also remarked that Pakistan needs a batsman in the middle order who can muscle the leather with ferocity and Asif is the appropriate candidate for the role. “Asif provides the Pakistani batting line-up with aggression and power hitting, and this is what Pakistan needs in the fifth and sixth slot,” Ramiz stated.

Asif still has the chance of making the cut for the World Cup as Pakistan are allowed to make changes to their squad until May 23 without the permission of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Even in the erstwhile edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Asif put forth some decent shows, having scored 281 runs in 12 matches for the Islamabad United. He scored those runs at an average of 35.12 and a strike-rate of 182.46. He also had two half-centuries to his name.

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