Each nation will be looking to field their strongest lineup as the crucial ODI World Cup draws near. Imam-ul-Haq, the opening batsman for Pakistan, expressed his opinion about the side assembling a core group for the next championship match given that the Men in Green only have a few games left in the bilateral series with New Zealand.
The Babar Azam-led Pakistan team currently leads the five-match ODI series 3-0, giving them an unbeatable advantage that will allow them to win the series. However, Imam noted that with only two games remaining in the ODI series, the Men in Green will need to maintain momentum and cannot be complacent. Furthermore, he added that it would be too late to make changes to the team and start formulating ideas for assembling a core unit for the major ODI tournament in India in October.
We lack the time to conduct experiments. There are only two games left (against New Zealand), and it’s crucial to be as settled as possible with your key players before entering a larger competition. The ICC cited Imam as adding, “We have less cricket and I don’t think we have enough time to create a workaround.
You experience pressure while representing Pakistan: Imam Imam was not persuaded by the team’s decision to bat Iftikhar Ahmed or Mohammad Haris as middle-over power hitters. He continued, “The side has options to field with players like Agha Salman, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Nawaz, but the management will need to back them to give confidence.”
We have enough power-hitting with Agha (Salman), Shadab (Khan), and (Mohammad) Nawaz to improvise. Just instilling them with confidence will do. When you represent Pakistan as a player, you are put under pressure in every circumstance, and how you handle it defines you, said Imam.
Notably, Imam scored 90 runs off 107 balls to lead Pakistan to victory in the third ODI and win Player of the Match honors. According to the Future Tours Program, Pakistan will play a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in August before to the ODI World Cup.
The Men in Green will also host the Asia Cup in 2023 when the series is over. What happens will have to wait, though, given the current debate about the event’s location.