Wasim Akram questions Pakistan team’s decision to bat Fakhar Zaman at No. 6
The 3rd Test between the two teams starts on 11th January while South Africa leads the series 2-0.
Updated - Jan 9, 2019 8:21 pm
Pakistan lost the second Test of the ongoing three-match series against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town by 9 wickets. It was a complete failure and things fell apart in both departments. Although their bowlers got most of the flak from the captain Sarfraz Ahmed, some of their team selection decisions are also questioned by former cricketers. Wasim Akram among them wanted to understand the batting order changes.
A move that still remains tough to decipher is the reason opener Fakhar Zaman walked out to bat at no. six in the second innings. Even Akram fails to fathom how team management expected an opener to bat lower in the order and still deliver. The former skipper compared this with him getting a promotion to the opening slot despite batting at number 8 at most times.
“I did not understand why Fakhar Zaman batted at number 6 in the 2nd Test as he is an opener and he wouldn’t know what to do. It’s just like if you take a number 8 position batsman like me and ask him to open – I wouldn’t have a clue,” Akram was quoted as saying by PakPassion’s Saj Sadiq.
Fakhar Zaman and his batting position
Fakhar has batted only once at a position as low as six in his international career, it was a T20 International a couple of years back. In the first place, his selection as an opener for the South Africa tour had raised a few eyebrows.
The left-hander is a successful opener in the shorter formats but his technical prowess has been constantly questioned. Handling new ball in South Africa against a world-class pace bowling attack always seemed difficult for him. Fakhar made his Test debut in Abu Dhabi against Australia and did score 94 and 66 in two innings but still did not look fit to handle a much bigger challenge in South Africa.
Fakhar with all these distractions could not even deliver at No.6. He lasted for just 8 balls and handed a simple return catch to Kagiso Rabada. It will be interesting to see, how the Pakistan team management utilizes Fakhar in the upcoming 3rd Test starting on 11th January which is their last chance to salvage some pride as the Proteas lead the series 2-0.
~ Written by Shreyasi