Malik needed in middle-order because of the style Pakistan play - Mudassar Nazar

The 66-year-old highlighted the way Pakistan plays in T20Is; veteran batter Shoaib Malik is required in the team

Malik needed in middle-order because of the style Pakistan play - Mudassar Nazar PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan lost the seven-match T20I series at home to England by 4-3. The Men in Green managed to fight in some matches but loopholes were again visible in the playing XI and overdependency on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

While talking to Cricket Pakistan, former Pakistan captain Mudassar Nazar talked about Pakistan's chances in the T20 World Cup with this squad, Saqlain Mushtaq's tenure as head coach, Pakistan Junior League (PJL) and much more.

"Pakistan fought well while England played with a full-fledged side apart from one or two players and all of their departments were covered. Meanwhile, Pakistan were competing with only three to four players," Mudassar said.



The 66-year-old highlighted the way Pakistan plays in the format; veteran batter Shoaib Malik is required in the team.

"Middle-order has been the main weakness which has caused trouble for Pakistan. There have been voices over the vulnerability of this middle order while selectors were adamant about playing the same batters at that position," he added.

"Pakistan are playing with a format where Babar and Rizwan bat till the 12 and 13 overs while in the end, sloggers can come and help set a target, but this was not happening. The way Pakistan play, Shoaib Malik must be there because they take the innings deep and Malik knows how to bat till the end, He has been doing this in franchise cricket," he added.

Mudassar thinks Pakistan might be bowled out on low scores in the T20 World Cup if Babar and Rizwan cannot score at the top. He also ruled out Pakistan's chances of finishing in the top four.

"The ball will bounce in Australia and now every team analyses opponents. They must have watched Pakistan's recent performances and everyone knows they are struggling against the short ball. In Australia, team can not score 150+ if early wickets fell, it will be bundled out in 70 or 80," he added.

Young batter Haider Ali received chances in the middle-order but couldn't deliver. Mudassar stressed his growth as batter stopped as he was recruited in the shorter format way too early.

"Haider was fantastic in U17 and U19 cricket, scoring centuries in 50-over and three-day but unfortunately, he featured in franchise cricket. He was growing and suddenly came in the shortest format of the game. He plays with a method of removing the left leg and slogs at mid-wicket; his growth stopped and now he is confused about what to do. He must go back to first-class cricket and regain form back," he added.

Mudassar had called to take the captaincy from Babar Azam in one of the formats and still formed the same opinion.

"Babar was given captaincy of all three formats at a very young age and they did injustice to him. Everything when you win matches but when pressure comes, the most is on the captain. He dropped catches in the last T20I due to pressure, he is one of the best catchers. Catches dropped but it was quite evident it is due to pressure," he added.

"He is a world-class player and if his form disappears due to pressure, Pakistan will be daunted badly going forward," he maintained.

The Men in Green have mixed results under the coaching of Saqlain Mushtaq. Mudassar thinks T20 World Cup will hold importance for his future as Pakistan head coach.

"Saqlain is relatively young in coaching, under him, the graph has not been on the winning side, but the upcoming T20 World Cup is a crucial tour for him, and if he succeeds, it will be great and if not, things are looking difficult for him."