Out of the box? Should we open with Irfan? asks Misbah


AUCKLAND: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit back at criticism from ex-players who advised him to think out of the box, asking should hapless tailender Mohammad Irfan be sent in as a World Cup opener?

Pakistan’s top order has flopped in the last four games with opening stands of 11, 0, 1 and 10 which put enormous pressure on the middle-order.

Pakistan tried veteran Younis Khan as opener in the first match against India after regular starter Mohammad Hafeez withdrew from the tournament following a calf injury just a week before the start of the World Cup.

But that didn’t work.

Recalled opener Nasir Jamshed, who replaced Hafeez in the squad, fell for nought, one and four in his three innings, leaving Pakistan to consider using wicket-keeper/batsman Sarfraz Ahmed as opener in Saturday’s crucial match against South Africa in Auckland.

When asked what he thinks of former captains, Javed Miandad and Ramiz Raja’s advice of thinking out of the box, Misbah quipped: “Out of the box? Should we open with Irfan?”

Irfan, the 7-foot fast bowler, is a ‘bunny’ with the bat, scoring just 43 runs in the 44 one-day matches he has played.

Misbah said that Sarfraz Ahmed is being considered as an opener.

“He (Ahmed) has opened the innings in the United Arab Emirates,” said Misbah of last year’s one-day series with Australia and New Zealand. “But here the conditions are different.”-AFP