Younis and Misbah must bat up the order: former Pak players

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Karachi, Feb 16 (PTI) Former Pakistan players haveadvised the national team''s think-tank to revise its battingorder by promoting the experienced Younis Khan andMisbah-ul-Haq higher up the order for the World Cup.

"First, we must have a pair of specialist openers, andYounis must bat at number three. We can use Umar Akmal at fourand Misbah ul Haq at five, which will give the youngstercushion to play his natural game," said former captain RamizRaza.

Former wicketkeeper corroborated Raza''s view saying thatthe team''s experienced batsmen should play out the maximumovers in limited overs game.

"In 50-overs cricket I think it is judicious to have yourmore experienced and best batsmen play out the maximum numberof overs. These two can provide a platform for the others tocome in and play freely," Latif said.

"Both are capable of absorbing pressure against any sideand built their innings sensibly."

The team management is currently experimenting withwicketkeeper Kamran Akmal or the young Asad Shafiq at numberthree, followed Younis at number four and either Misbah orUmar at number five.

Former chief selector and leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir notedthat yesterday''s warm-up game against Bangladesh somewhatexposed Pakistan''s weakness in batting.

"The team management needs to think through its battingstrategy. Against Bangladesh, apart from the centuries fromAhmed Shehzad and Misbah, no other batsmen clicked and that isa worrying sign ahead of the World Cup," Qadir said.

Qadir said the management should sacrifice Kamran atnumber three.

"They are wasting him at number three. Younis should becoming in at number three, Misbah at number four, Umar atnumber five followed by Kamran, Afridi and Razzaq."

Qadir said Kamran was a quality player who has theability to win matches batting lower down the order.

"This is a major event and our batting strategies need tobe worked out quickly," he said.

Hit by allegations of match-fixing against their players,Pakistan are coming into the World Cup with lot a stake, butRaza believed that all is well at the moment, and the team hasthe ability to lift the trophy.

"I have followed the Pakistan team in their last fewseries and I can tell you there is a marked improvement in thedressing room atmosphere. The players are getting along welland there are no intrigues, politics or groupings in the team,which is a very good sign for our chances of doing well in theWorld Cup," he said.

In Shahid Afridi, Raza sees a captain capable of leadingthe team to glory in the mega event.

"In the past we have always suffered because of intriguesand groupings prior to major tournaments and, by the timethings were settled, it was too late for us. But this time Isee a new spirit and unity in this outfit. It gives me lot ofconfidence in their ability to go all the way." PTI Corr AH

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