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Manjrekar questions Babar-Rizwan opening pair for Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2024

Manjrekar welcomed Pakistan's decision to move Babar to the No. 3 position in their previous game against Canada

Manjrekar questions Babar-Rizwan opening pair for Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2024 PHOTO: AFP

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has expressed his reservations about Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan opening the innings for Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 co-hosted by the USA and West Indies. 

Two of the finest batters in the current Pakistani roster, Babar and Rizwan, have opened for the Green Army in two World Cup games. Recently, Babar and Rizwan received the support of former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) president Ramiz Raja, who backed the premier batters to spearhead the top order of the 2009 champions.

In a recent interview with a local news channel, Manjrekar believes that the premier batters shouldn't be opening for the Asian giants in the 2024 edition. He welcomed Pakistan's decision to move Babar to the No. 3 position in their previous game against Canada.

"I'm glad they have made a change in the batting order. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan can't be opening together. Both of them were not really keen to strike early, so they put somebody else in at the top. Left-hand, right-hand combination is not such a bad thing. So some good things happening there," Manjrekar said.

In the T20 World Cup opener against the USA, Babar scored 44 off 43 balls, while Rizwan perished for nine off eight balls. The duo only added 26 runs for the first wicket against India in Pakistan's 6-run defeat in New York. Pakistan is fighting for survival after losing two matches in Group A. Babar and Co. will meet Ireland in a must-win clash on Sunday.

The former cricketer also voiced concerns about Pakistan's batting performance in the ongoing mega-event tournament. He highlighted the challenges faced by the team, despite showing potential in other areas.

"Batting is still a bit of a concern. Mohammad Amir is coming into his own. So I see them just being better than Ireland to win the game. But once they get into the Super Eight, that is going to be another sort of acid test for them because they are not looking as good as some of the other teams that have gone through," he said.