Grant Bradburn, the head coach of Pakistan, has insisted that his team’s top-order batting is not a concern, but that assurance might not extend to Fakhar Zaman, the only player to have struck a double hundred in an ODI for his nation.
The opening pair for Pakistan has had a terrible last five games, with just 35 as their highest partnership.
There has only been one century stand in the 16 games played this year.
In a 15-run partnership with Imamul Haq, left-hander Fakhar only scored 12 runs during Pakistan’s 81-run victory over the Netherlands on Friday in Hyderabad.
With a best score of just 33 in his last 11 innings, Fakhar, famed for smashing 210 not out against Zimbabwe in 2018, has been in a severe slump after scoring three straight hundreds against New Zealand earlier this year.
Fakhar will likely be replaced for the match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday by Abdullah Shafique, who scored a half-century in the two teams’ previous encounter at the Asia Cup in September. Sri Lanka won that game by two wickets.
Bradburn is still holding out hope for quick top-order clicks.
Bradburn, a New Zealander, stated on Monday, “Look, we have complete faith in our top order.”
We’re open and honest to admit that we’re not getting what we would like out of the powerplay just yet, but they will eventually connect.
The top-ranked ODI batter in the world at number three and captain Babar Azam also struggled against the Netherlands with an 18-ball five.
Bradburn, who lauded Sri Lanka, stated that “the top three have scored the majority of our runs in the period leading up to the World Cup.”
Sri Lanka is a side that has grown on us recently, and we are aware that they have the upper hand over us in white-ball cricket over the past year, according to Bradburn.
We are very much looking forward to facing Sri Lanka today and we respect their abilities.
Naveed Nawaz, the Sri Lankan batting coach, instructed his bowlers to keep their composure despite giving up a World Cup record total of 428 against South Africa in their opening game.
“It’s going to be mostly batting-friendly pitches, so we’ve got to look at the execution in the game against South Africa and how we could have done better,” Nawaz added.
“The guys who got runs, especially Kusal (Mendis), Charith (Asalanka), and possibly Dasun (Shanaka), had they gone for a little bit longer, maybe another extra 30, 40 runs by each one of them, that could have got us close.” As Sri Lanka mustered a valiant 326 in response, Mendis hit 76 with eight sixes, Asalanka 79, and Shanaka 68.
“I think Pakistan is quite a strong opposition,” said Nawaz.
“We have been playing Pakistan recently, so both teams know quite well about each team’s strengths, and weaknesses. “