Ready and happy to bat even at No. 6 or 7: Fakhar Zaman as Pakistan aim to revamp batting order

“It’s not a sacrifice. It’s the call taken by the management, captain. They are playing me despite me not fitting in as an opener,” Zaman said.

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Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Pakistan batter Fakhar Zaman is ready to be flexible to fit into the T20I set-up of the national team. Notably, in the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, the Shaheen Shah Afridi-led side is likely to revamp the position of the core batting unit, which might force Fakhar to bat in the middle, and give up on his usual opening. As per reports, Mohammad Rizwan and Saim Ayub are slated to open in the away series, with Babar Azam batting in the middle order.

Although, it might complicate Fakhar’s position in the playing XI, the 33-year-old mentioned he is ‘lucky’ to be part of the Pakistan team and is ready to bat anywhere. He added that it is not a sacrifice as the team management has given him a new role in the shortest format.

“It’s not a sacrifice. It’s the call taken by the management, captain. They are playing me despite me not fitting in as an opener. But they are seeing the good in me that I can win matches for Pakistan even while batting in the lower order,” Fakhar was quoted as saying during a press conference.

“It’s the national team, and 1000s of cricketers are in line to get a chance. I consider myself lucky, given the way Babar (Azam), (Mohammad) Rizwan and Saim (Ayub) are playing, to be in the team. It’s a team game, and I am ready and happy to bat even at No.6 or 7,” he added.

Fakhar has batted at number three or lower for Pakistan in the past, although the top order suited his style of play the most. Hence, the role of a finisher is something that’s still pretty new to him. He is likely to partner with Azam Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed in the middle order. Aamer Jamal may follow him at number seven, with skipper Afridi coming in at eight.

Meanwhile, it also needs to be seen where Fakhar would play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). In case he fails in the upcoming series, PSL can prove to be his last opportunity to make it to the T20 World Cup squad.

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