‘Umar Akmal must bat up the order’

ISLAMABAD: Fast bowling great and former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has called for a shakeup in Pakistan’s World Twenty20 line up and advised captain Mohammad Hafeez to utilise the services of young batting star Umar Akmal up the order, who according to the ‘Burewala Express’ was in his ‘zone’ at the moment.
Waqar said he was impressed by Umar’s career-best performance against Australia which helped Pakistan register a 16-run win over George Bailey’s men.
“We must take full advantage of the way Umar is batting at the moment and should look to give him even more confidence by sending him up the order,” Waqar said while also praising the role of Kamran Akmal who combined with his brother in a 96-run third wicket partnership.
Umar Akmal smashed 94 off 54 balls to propel his side to 191 before a lionhearted effort by Pakistan’s bowlers powered the 2009 champions to a thrilling win over Australia on March 23.
Waqar also offered a word of praise for the bowling attack who weathered a Glen Maxwell storm while defending their target. Maxwell smashed 74 off 33 balls in the run chase.
“Saeed Ajmal bowled really well under pressure when they were hit for runs. [Umar] Gul too seems to be finding his rhythm.”
“They [Australia] were always looking to come hard at us, credit to Pakistan for holding their nerve.”
The former captain also called for the inclusion of opener Sharjeel Khan into the squad, adding he was ‘unclear’ of Shoaib Malik’s role in the team.
“Sharjeel’s talent is being wasted, he would have been ideally suited on these pitches.”