Younis and Misbah must bat up the order: former Pak players

Updated: Feb 16, 2011, 15:01 PM IST

Karachi: Former Pakistan players have advised the national team`s think-tank to revise its batting order by promoting the experienced Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq higher up the order for the World Cup.

"First, we must have a pair of specialist openers, and Younis must bat at number three. We can use Umar Akmal at four and Misbah ul Haq at five, which will give the youngster cushion to play his natural game," said former captain Ramiz Raza.

Former wicketkeeper corroborated Raza`s view saying that the team`s experienced batsmen should play out the maximum overs in limited overs game.

"In 50-overs cricket I think it is judicious to have your more experienced and best batsmen play out the maximum number of overs. These two can provide a platform for the others to come in and play freely," Latif said.

"Both are capable of absorbing pressure against any side and built their innings sensibly."

The team management is currently experimenting with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal or the young Asad Shafiq at number three, followed Younis at number four and either Misbah or Umar at number five.

Former chief selector and leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir noted that yesterday`s warm-up game against Bangladesh somewhat exposed Pakistan`s weakness in batting.

"The team management needs to think through its batting strategy. Against Bangladesh, apart from the centuries from Ahmed Shehzad and Misbah, no other batsmen clicked and that is a worrying sign ahead of the World Cup," Qadir said.

Qadir said the management should sacrifice Kamran at number three.

"They are wasting him at number three. Younis should be coming in at number three, Misbah at number four, Umar at number five followed by Kamran, Afridi and Razzaq."

Qadir said Kamran was a quality player who has the ability to win matches batting lower down the order.

"This is a major event and our batting strategies need to be worked out quickly," he said.

Hit by allegations of match-fixing against their players, Pakistan are coming into the World Cup with lot a stake, but Raza believed that all is well at the moment, and the team has the ability to lift the trophy.

"I have followed the Pakistan team in their last few series and I can tell you there is a marked improvement in the dressing room atmosphere. The players are getting along well and there are no intrigues, politics or groupings in the team, which is a very good sign for our chances of doing well in the World Cup," he said.

In Shahid Afridi, Raza sees a captain capable of leading the team to glory in the mega event.

"In the past we have always suffered because of intrigues and groupings prior to major tournaments and, by the time things were settled, it was too late for us. But this time I see a new spirit and unity in this outfit. It gives me lot of confidence in their ability to go all the way."