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Pakistan should go with three openers in England Tests: Ramiz Raja

The 57-year-old believed that left-hander Imamul Haq could be slotted in as an additional opener

Photo Courtesy: PCB

Pakistan’s former cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja, while answering fan questions in a YouTube live session on Tuesday, claimed that the Men in Green should go with three openers during the upcoming Test series against England.

The 57-year-old believed that left-hander Imamul Haq could be slotted in as an additional opener because the real battle in England would be against the new ball.

“Our batting line-up will remain the same till number five. You have your captain, two openers in the form of Abid Ali and Shan Masood. I was also thinking that Pakistan could go with three openers. Imamul Haq could slot in at number three because, in England, the game comes down to how well you can bat against the new ball. If you can survive the new ball than the middle overs become significantly easier,” said Raja.

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“You cannot even use saliva to swing the old ball so it becomes even more important. If your fight is against the new ball than you can opt for three openers in order to reduce the damage so that it decreases the pressure on the middle-order,” he added.

The former opener also stressed on the importance of having a quality all-rounder in the lineup.

“Ideally Pakistan should have a quality all-rounder at number six such as Ben Stokes. I don’t know if they are preparing someone for that role or not but apart from that the team will be pretty much the same with one spinner and three fast-bowlers,” he said.

Raja also believed that middle-order batsman Fawad Alam deserved a chance during the upcoming series as age was not on his side.

“I think they should play Fawad Alam because he has been waiting in the wings with the team. If they hold on for longer, age might start becoming a factor because your reflexes start to slow down. He should definitely get one chance in this Test series,” he concluded.