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We will look to fix middle order issues – Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s head coach, said the think-tank will concentrate on a “few of places” in the middle order ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year.

Players Arrived in England Have enough Number

The visitors, who arrived in England two days ago, have a sufficient number of T20I matches to resolve their problems. Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20Is against England, the 2016 World T20 runners-up, before facing the defending champions, the West Indies, in five T20Is. In fact, Pakistan has tried 14 players at those two positions since Misbah took over the reins. Azam Khan and Shoaib Maqsood will be battling for a spot in the middle order in the coming month.

“The PSL clarified a couple of things,” Misbah stated.

“I think it is that one slot we are trying to fill, at No. 5 and No. 6, that we’ve had issues with. We have Azam Khan now and Sohaib Maqsood with us to see if they can, and what combination we can make with them.

“Overall, the bowling we know we have pretty much our attack. At the top of the order, we have our four pretty much and their replacements. So, we know our side more or less but a couple of positions that we need to focus on over the next two series.”

For the Quetta Gladiators, Azam scored only 174 runs.

In the PSL 2020-21, Azam, on the other hand, only scored 174 runs for Quetta Gladiators. Even though Maqsood concluded the tournament with 428 runs, the veteran batsman prefers to bat in the top order.

“We try that whatever players we have here are fully prepared and that we show confidence in them so they go out there and perform. Azam no doubt is talented although he is a little out of form recently. But everyone knows that in modern T20 cricket, the power you need at five or six, the strike rate you need, he has the potential for that. So, looking forward to seeing him, we just have to see what combination we want to go with.”

The problem with Covid-19

Pakistan had to choose the squad before the PSL resumed due to the Covid-19 crisis and several limitations. Haider Ali withdrew from the PSL final, as well as the England and West Indies tours, due to a bio-bubble breach, and was replaced by the in-form Maqsood.

“It’s always a good thing that the maximum number of players are in good form and a good frame of mind. But you learn from cricket that it doesn’t matter when you have good form and runs and you still don’t perform. And sometimes you’re not in good form but you come with more focus, you try harder to recapture that form.

“One good thing is we have time. We have ODIs first, so we can utilize that time and then be properly prepared as we go into the T20s. The form is not something that sticks with you permanently or goes away permanently. As coaching staff and players you try and get that back and we have enough time to do it.”

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