Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik will be in for one of his biggest tests both as captain and the team’s senior all-rounder when the tourists take the field for the do-or-die one-dayer against India, here at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium today.
Malik, whose appointment as captain after this March’s World Cup heartbreak was hailed as the start of a golden era, has been unable to impress much with the bat and ball and more importantly has been found lacking in his leadership skills after a brief success in the inaugural World Twenty20 championship in South Africa this September.
After losing the one-day and Test series at home against South Africa last month, Malik’s form has dipped further and is seen by experts as one of the reasons why Pakistan are 1-2 down in the five-match series.
In his three outings in this series, Malik has scored just 39 runs at 13 with knocks of 2, 25, and 12 in Guwahati, Mohali and Kanpur.
However, Malik says that he is not too concerned. “People are talking about my form just because we are losing,” he said on the eve of the fourth one-dayer. “It’s true that I haven’t scored many runs in this series but it’s just a bad patch,” he explained.
Malik, who has scored 3864 runs at 33.60 from 148 one-day games apart from taking 106 wickets, is confident of regaining his form on a perfect batting track at the Roop Singh Stadium today.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s match and hopefully I’ll get some runs for Pakistan,” he expressed. Malik’s individual form is crucial to Pakistan’s cause. He is currently batting at the vital fifth position and will have to chip in with a substantial knock today in what is expected to be a high-scoring game.
On the 2005 tour of India, Malik was one of the reasons why Pakistan came back from two games down to win the One-day International (ODI) series 4-2. He scored 75, 65, 41 and 72 while batting at No 3 and No 4.
Malik, 25, hinted that Pakistan may reshuffle their batting order in a bid to find the right combination. “We have a batting line-up that is pretty flexible and will make some adjustments according to the requirement in (tomorrow’s) match,” he revealed.
In the last game, Pakistan opted to open with the big-hitting Shahid Afridi, a gamble that misfired.
It is expected that Malik will open the innings with Salman Butt in a bid to provide more stability to the batting line-up. But he didn’t commit anything. “We are keeping all our options open and will take our decisions according to the demands of the situation,” he said.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:India, Pakistan, Pakistan in India 2007, Shoaib Malik
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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