Right-left combination in opening is the ideal scenario for Pakistan: Misbah ul Haq

"Gary Kirsten has been trying that, he's playing Saim Ayub in that role," said Misbah.

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Misbah ul Haq
Misbah ul Haq. (Photo Source: ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan have been grappling with their opening combination in the T20Is, ever since the famous duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were separated by the newly formed management. They had kept Rizwan intact and Babar was demoted to number three. The move did not yield favourable results and with the change in management, the usual pair were restored. With T20 World Cup 2024 beckoning former Pakistan captain Misbah Ul Haq has opined on an ideal opening combination.

Misbah reckoned that a right- and left-hand combination will benefit the team. That being said, either Babar or Rizwan has to make way for the leftie Saim Ayub. Ayub is being promoted for the opening role by recently appointed coach Gary Kirsten. Misbah also asserted that, Ayub possesses the ability to charge from the ball and go to create pressure on the opposition.

“What I think is the best way to do that is to see how they can get a right-left combination. That is the ideal scenario. Gary Kirsten has been trying that, he's playing Saim Ayub in that role, but he's not delivering at the moment. But I see that this combination, they are two different types of players, Saim Ayub with either Babar or Rizwan,” said Misbah speaking exclusively in a special Star Sports Press Room.

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“They can complement each other; he is a player who right from the first ball can go after the bowling and put pressure on the opposition bowling lineup. On the other side, whether it's Babar or Rizwan, they play more conventional cricket and keep rotating the strike to make an impact. So I think this is the ideal scenario, but going into the England series, it will be very important,” he added.

Saim Ayub is not performing consistently: Misbah

The 49-year-old also added that Ayub is not in his prime form and has been inconsistent. He placed his hopes on the impending England series to judge the batter completely. He also opined that owing to spin-friendly American pitches, going Babar-Rizwan pair will do good but he stands by the left and right combination.

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“He's not performing consistently, and when it comes to America, the bowling conditions are such that if you have an extra spinner who bowls a carom ball or a seam-up delivery in between, that can give an edge to Pakistan, the right-left combination, but that will depend on the next series and how they perform. Otherwise, we have the Babar-Rizwan pair who have previously performed very well. So even if you go that route, it is a good option. But I personally think that the right-left and the different nature of the players, that can offer you more,” Misbah concluded.

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