"I don’t think Haider Ali should have been dropped from the side"- Zaheer Abbas

Haider Ali
Haider Ali

Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas is unhappy with the Pakistan cricket team for not giving Haider Ali enough opportunities at the top of the order.

Haider Ali was dropped from the team following a poor performance in the first T20I against Zimbabwe, where he scored five runs off nine balls while coming in to bat at No. 6.

Zaheer Abbas feels Haider Ali has been dealt a rough hand by the team management after his few failures.

"Being a young player, I don’t think he should have been dropped from the side. The batting coach should have worked with him with regards to batting in the middle order. We had high expectations from Haider which is why it would have been better to give him a prolonged run rather than dropping him from the side," said Zaheer Abbas.

Zaheer Abbas, fondly known as the Asian Bradman, highlighted that the young batsman has gained much of his success in domestic cricket while batting at the top of the order. However, for Pakistan, he has been deployed in the middle order.

"I think Haider Ali did well as an opener which is why he was selected for the national side but in international cricket he bats down the order. This change in batting position can unsettle players and that could possibly be the reason behind the dip in Haider’s form," the 73-year-old added.

Haider Ali is primarily known for his ability to up the ante in limited-overs cricket, as he strikes at 150.85 in T20s.

However, the 20-year-old has so far failed to replicate his domestic performances in the T20 internationals.

Haider Ali's recent run of form

Haider Ali (L) has two fifties in his T20I career
Haider Ali (L) has two fifties in his T20I career

Pakistan won both their recent T20I series against South Africa (3-1) and Zimbabwe (2-1). However, Haider Ali had a dismal time with the bat.

While he was discarded after one game against Zimbabwe, the batsman had played all four games against South Africa prior to the Zimbabwe series.

In three innings against the Proteas, Haider could only manage 29 runs at an average of 9.67. Following his failure in the first T20I against Zimbabwe, the Pakistan team management seemingly lost their patience and dropped him.

Overall, Haider Ali has played 15 T20I games in his career, scoring at an average of 19.69 while his strike rate is 131.95.

With the T20 World Cup around the corner, chances seem to be running out for the young batsman to cement his place in the Pakistan national team.

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Edited by Arjun Panchadar