Mickey Arthur
Babar and Rizwan should not open together says Arthur. image source_AFP

“Babar and Rizwan must not open together in T20Is,” says Former Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur:

South African-born John Micheal Arthur AKA Mickey Arthur who coached the Pakistan cricket team from 2016-2019 thinks, Pakistan should not open with Babar and Rizwan.

Babar and Rizwan are the highest-ranked Pakistani batsmen and they have been extremely successful while opening the innings. But he feels that Fakhar should open with either one of them while the other comes at No. 3 to give solidity to the middle order.

On ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out, Mickey said, “You’d want to probably send Fakhar Zaman up and have a left-right batting combination so that the bowlers are bowling different angles, and you have Babar or Rizwan come in at No. 3 so that there is a little more depth and someone can play the sheet anchor role for them and hold one end up while the others revolve around these guys.”

Fakhar and RIzwan
Fakhar should open, says Arthur. IC @ANI

“I think they should [separate Babar and Rizwan]. Fakhar hits the ball in different areas, it frustrates the bowlers a little bit. It is the different angles, you’ve got a left hand and a right hand. So, spread Babar and Rizwan and you put Fakhar Zaman back at the top,” he added.

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Swapping the batting position of Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman could prove to be a cult for the Pakistani top order. Left and right-hand combination at the top and Babar batting at 3 can keep the scoreboard running as the Pakistani middle order is of course very aggressive and attacking but a little inexperienced at the same time.

“We used to build as best we can, and that was quite a good recipe for us. The difference between that team and the team now is that in the middle, we had Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. In the middle now, they are a very young outfit, they don’t have much experience, and when you get them three wickets down early, I think they are going to struggle,” Mickey concluded. 

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