KARACHI: Pakistan top order batting must click and excel for achieving the glory in ACC Asia Cup T20 Cricket Tournament starting in Bangladesh from March 24, former captain Muhammad Yousuf said on Friday.
“Performance of top order batsmen like Hafeez, Malik, Umar and Afridi holds the key in ultimate outcome of the Asia Cup,” he told.
He said trio of Hafeez, Afridi, Malik are iconic and highly rated players in T20 brand of cricket and they must lead team from the front and deliver.
Asia Cup is being held on Twenty20 format for the first time with host Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and a qualifier in the fray for the crown on March 6.
Muhammad Yousuf said Umar Akmal remained in great form in Pakistan Super League and he should carry his form in Asia Cup T20 and also ICC World T20.
“Our batsmen should have no problems in sub-continents because they play most of their cricket around,” he maintained. “Pakistan got an impressive track record in shorter version having won the title in 2009 and twice reached the semifinals,” he recalled.
“Pakistan is highly rated team and they must deliver for reaching the top,” he added. Pakistan once placed on the top in ICC T20 Ranking but slipped to third and than to 7th in recent months.
“We got good bowling attacks. But despite all this our batsmen’s role \ will be vital,” the master batsman of yesteryear,” he stressed.
However, he said there is no specialist spinner in the team and team was full of all-rounder led by Shahid Afridi with Malik, Anwar Ali, Imad Wasim and Muhammad Nawaz. “Specialist spinner’s role would have been very important in these conditions,” he remarked.
He Pakistan pace attack of quartet left arm pace bowler Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Irfan, newcomer Rumman Raees Khan looks very formidable.
He said selection of Test opener Khurram Manzoor was bit surprise for him. Butt added that everybody knows who got him in the team without elaborating.
Muhammad Yosuf said selection committee headed by Haroon Rashid must answer if their selected unable to perform to certain level. “If there are flaws in selection question should be asked from the selectors and they should take responsibility,” he remarked.
Commenting on the early selection of all-rounder Muhammad Nawaz and left arm pacer Rumman Raees, he said selectors must be impressed with their showing in PSL.
Muhammad Yousuf said he enjoyed playing in Master League in United Arab Emirates (UAE). “It was nice to meet old players from around the world after so many years,” he concluded.