Sanjay Bangar feels Pakistan should open with Mohammad Haris and Mohammad Rizwan, with Babar Azam demoting himself to No. 3.
The Men in Green will lock horns with New Zealand in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Sydney on Wednesday, November 9. They will be expecting their top order, which has been found slightly wanting thus far, to deliver the goods in the crunch game.
During an interaction on the Star Sports show 'Game Plan', Bangar was asked if he expects Babar and Rizwan to finally come good or if sees any changes at the top of the order for Pakistan. He responded:
"In a game like this, I would say it would be good if Pakistan makes that switch, push Haris at the top with Rizwan and Babar Azam bats at three so that he can do a similar role which Williamson does for New Zealand."
However, Bangar was unsure if the Pakistan team management will be inclined to make such a change. The former India all-rounder observed:
"We saw in the previous game also that they were a little bit confused as to whom to send. At that time, Haris was probably sent down the order a bit because Nawaz was promoted up the order."
Mohammad Nawaz was promoted to No. 3 in the batting order in Pakistan's last Super 12 game against Bangladesh. The spin-bowling all-rounder managed just four runs off 11 deliveries before Haris ensured Pakistan's spot in the semi-finals with a swashbuckling 31 off 18 balls.
"Shan Masood can be the floater" - Sanjay Bangar
Bangar was further asked what would happen to Shan Masood if Haris and Rizwan open and Babar bats at three. He replied:
"Shan Masood can be the floater. You saw Dawid Malan in England, he is a floater. He can bat if the wicket falls early up top, he can sort of just arrest the slide and then you have some very good players in Iftikhar and Shadab, who can follow suit."
The former Indian batting coach concluded by observing that the altered batting order will help Pakistan's cause. He stated:
"That actually lengthens the batting lineup also a bit. So if Pakistan are willing to make those changes, I clearly feel that they can optimize their resources really well."
Babar has managed a mere 39 runs in his five innings in the T20 World Cup thus far. Haris, on the other hand, has smoked 59 runs in just two innings, that too at a strike rate of 203.44. It will be interesting to see if Pakistan opt to make a change at the top of the order in a knockout game.
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