‘Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan Can’t Be Opening Together’: Sanjay Manjrekar

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Pakistan top-order batters Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have forged a formidable partnership in T20Is. Together, the pair had amassed 3252 runs from 69 innings at an average of 48.53 that including 10 century and 15 half-century stands.

The duo has been opening in T20Is for quite some time and it was natural for them to continue at the ongoing world cup. However, the pair failed to provide good starts in the first two matches which Pakistan lost and as a result, the team management made a slight tweak for their third match of the competition.

Babar dropped down to No. 3 and Saim Ayub opened alongside Rizwan against Canada. While the adjustment hasn’t paid immediate return, former India cricketer Sanjy Manjrekar feels this is a step in the right direction.

“I’m glad they (Pakistan) have made a change in the batting order,” Manjrekar said on Stars Sports. “Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan can’t be opening together. Both of them were not really keen to strike early, so they put somebody else in at the top. Left-hand, right-hand combination is not such a bad thing. So some good things happening there.”

Pakistan suffered defeats to USA and India to start their campaign before a win over Canada kept them alive in the Super Eight race.

Manjrekar feels batting is still an area of concern for Pakistan and they might face a stiffer test in the next round should they qualify.

“Batting is still a bit of a concern. Mohammad Amir is coming into his own. So I see them just being better than Ireland to win the game. But once they get into the Super Eight, that is going to be another sort of acid test for them because they are not looking as good as some of the other teams that have gone through,” Manjrekar said.

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Shreyas Vyas