Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-Ul-Haq was not too impressed with the national team’s tactics in the second T20I against England in Leeds. England levelled the three-match series on Sunday, winning by 45 runs after losing a high-scoring first game in Nottingham. Inzamam-Ul-Haq chiefly pointed out Fakhar Zaman’s batting position as the reason behind their loss in the match.
Fakhar Zaman, who opens in One-day international cricket, has started batting in the middle-order in the shortest format. Though the left-hander crafted an impactful cameo in the first T20I, it was not the case in the second T20I. Zaman departed for eight off eight deliveries at number five as Pakistan faltered after an excellent start while chasing 201.
Inzamam-Ul-Haq opines that instead of Sohaib Maqsood at number three, Pakistan should have sent Fakhar Zaman after Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam provided a magnificent start. The 51-year old felt that if the southpaw had to be in a position to face spinners at five or six, his abilities have gone wasted. Inzamam also stated that Zaman would have performed well at number three as his confidence was high after the first T20I and a left-right combination would have formed with Rizwan.
“Talking about the batting, I think Pakistan made a major mistake at number three. When Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were playing well, they sent Sohaib Maqsood instead of Fakhar Zaman when a wicket fell. Fakhar was an opener and if you push him to number five or six, where he has to face spinners, then he will be completely wasted. If they had sent him instead of Sohaib then it would have formed a right-hand and left-hand combination. Fakhar had made an eight-ball 25 in the last match as well. His confidence was high. He would have performed better up the order. We could have put a lot of pressure on England in this way,” Inzamam said as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan couldn’t perform like they did in the first T20I: Inzamam-Ul-Haq
Inzamam-Ul-Haq further conceded that even though Pakistan’s performance in the second T20I was not like in the first, they fought well. The 120-Test veteran remarked that Shadab Khan’s cameo was a massive positive sign and observed that fielding was another thing where the men in green had improved.
“Pakistan couldn’t perform like they did in the first T20I. They played well; I am not saying that they did not. It was visible that they were fighting. I think that when Shadab Khan was playing, we knew that the score cannot be chased down but they showed fight because they were still trying to score. This is a good sign. The second thing which is good that the standard of fielding is progressing well. I was happy to see that,” he added.