Shoaib Akhtar, a former fast bowler, believes that in T20Is, Pakistan should go with an opening pair of Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan. Sharjeel is a natural hitter, according to Akhtar, and should be one of the first names on the team sheet in the game’s shortest format.
“Regardless of how well [Mohammad] Rizwan does, Sharjeel is called into the T20I side. Together, Fakhar and Sharjeel will kill the opponent. Pakistan should consider playing brutal cricket. Today’s cricket isn’t about scoring 170 or 180 runs; it’s about scoring 200 or more,” Akhtar said.
Pakistan, according to Akhtar, needs to be more ruthless in their playing style and squad selection. Every match, he said, the team should aim to score more than 200 runs. While Akhtar praised Mohammad Rizwan’s top-order performances, he believes that Fakhar and Sharjeel should be the usual opening pair, with Rizwan falling to the middle order.
The team management should also look to play Asif Ali lower down the order to provide fireworks at the end of the innings, according to Akhtar. He believes Asif Ali is a decent power hitter who could be useful in the shorter format.
Fakhar and Sharjeel, according to Akhtar, have the ability to be the national team’s new Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail, and can form a formidable top-order pair. Babar Azam should start at number three, followed by Mohammad Hafeez at number four, according to him. He believes that Pakistan should use Mohammad Rizwan in the fifth place, followed by Haider Ali, a young hard-hitting batsman.