World Cup 2023: Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman Dilemma

World Cup 2023
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World Cup 2023: What can be done with a player like Fakhar Zaman? Many might recall his outstanding century against India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, which marked a turning point for Indian spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, both of whom struggled and went wicketless as Zaman dominated. However, the situation has changed since then, and Fakhar Zaman now presents a challenge for Pakistan in the early overs of the game.

World Cup 2023

Grant Bradburn, Pakistan’s coach, expressed concerns about the team’s performance during the Powerplay. When asked specifically about Fakhar’s position, Bradburn mentioned that they have several options at the top of the order, and they are confident that these alternatives can not only score runs but also set the desired tempo for the innings. The goal is to establish a tempo that the middle and lower order can build upon, which they are currently struggling to achieve.

Fakhar Zaman’s form has fluctuated from being a fearless hitter to a more cautious player. In a 2017 Champions Trophy match against England, he attempted to hook almost every delivery, even on a ground with different boundary lengths. His captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, was puzzled and frustrated by this approach. However, Fakhar’s explanation was that he was trying to arrange for a top-edge, which would result in a six over midwicket if it connected or a six over the shorter boundary if it was a top-edge. This unconventional thinking provided a humorous moment for the team.

Now, the question is whether Fakhar can rediscover his aggressive form and make the most of another opportunity. His recent performances have been a concern, with a poor showing in the Asia Cup and struggles with footwork in a warm-up match against Australia.

Pakistan’s batting approach in this World Cup has leaned towards conventional ODI cricket, with most of the top four batsmen being accumulators. Therefore, Fakhar’s explosive start becomes crucial for the team’s success.

In a recent match against the Netherlands, Pakistan managed to score only 286 runs on a decent batting surface, and once Fakhar was dismissed early, the rest of the batting lineup struggled to accelerate.

Their upcoming match against Sri Lanka is significant, as Sri Lanka has had the upper hand in recent encounters. Grant Bradburn mentioned that they are familiar with Sri Lanka’s strengths and weaknesses, thanks in part to their secret weapon, Mickey Arthur, who previously coached the Sri Lankan team. Arthur’s insights have been valuable in preparing for the match.

In conclusion, Fakhar Zaman’s form and role in the team are subjects of discussion, and Pakistan hopes to address these issues to perform well in the World Cup, especially in crucial matches against teams like Sri Lanka.

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