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I am an opener and want to play as one: Mohammad Hafeez

He has been given the role of playing in the middle-order by the team.

Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan
Mohammad Hafeez (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

He had some odd phases in his career over the last year or so but the veteran Pakistan batting-all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is back into prominence now. The 38-year-old has been picked in the country’s squad for the upcoming World Cup and along with Shoaib Malik, Hafeez will be playing his final WC. He was in the Pakistan squads for the 2007 and 2011 World Cups but was ruled out with an injury in the 2015 edition.

Hafeez has done well in the middle-order

The batsman, who averages 33 in ODIs, has done well batting in the middle-order for Pakistan over the last couple of years. However, he feels that he still is an opener and will like to continue to play as one. Hafeez was asked to bat down the order two years ago to grant stability to the batting order.

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After the talented Babar Azam took up the No.3 position, Hafeez moved further down the order. The man has in fact done well in his new batting position since the change in January 2017 against Australia and has averaged 37, which is better than his career average. In the Champions Trophy final played against India in June 2017, Hafeez scored 57 not out off 37 balls to play a key role in his side’s win.

“I am an opener and want to play as one. The team management has asked me to play an anchor role at number four because we have new openers who are growing and playing well. I play for the Pakistan team and try to fit in the role which is offered to me,” Mohammad Hafeez was quoted as saying by Pak Passion.

One of Pakistan’s big shortcomings in the lower middle order is their lack of enough big-hitters that restrict them from chasing or posting big totals. Hafeez, who has a strike rate of 76 in the 50-over format, however, feels that the World Cup could be won by executing basic plans to perfection as well.

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