Despite a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Australia in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan batting coach, Grant Flower has plenty to be hopeful about. Pakistani batsmen scored 5 centuries including two each by Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Sohail while another on debut from Abid Ali.
These three batsmen have particularly impressed the higher-ups in the team management and might well be playing for Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup which starts from May 30th.
Earlier, Mickey Arthur had clarified that Sarfaraz Ahmad is still the number one choice for wicket-keeping at the mega event, hinting that Mohammad Rizwan, if slotted into the XI, will be playing as a specialist batsman.
Flower lauded Rizwan’s batting performances during the Australia series and also said that he is “one of the best fielders we have”.
In an interview to a sports website, former Zimbabwe captain was all praise for the wicket-keeper batsman:
Rizwan’s been playing well, but he looked more in charge of his own mind this time. Less frenetic and paced his innings better. He’s good enough to bat in the top four, but I also think he’s versatile enough to play lower down.
Talking about Haris Sohail, who had to sit out a couple of years due to his knee injury, he termed him a class player.
Haris is a class player and he showed that. His knee’s getting stronger now, and he’s working a lot harder at his fitness.
He further added that Abid Ali not only impressed the coaches but Australians as well.
Abid’s century was, of course, brilliant to see. I wasn’t expecting it since we hadn’t done much work with him before the series. I’d been told how good he was, but to see him timing the ball as beautifully as he did was very encouraging. Front foot, back foot, offside, legside, you name it.
Flower called the World Cup an ‘open tournament’ and that it is their number one priority.