It’s a conundrum, Pakistan have faced for a while now. It is why Umer Akmal was persisted with despite failure. Shahid Afridi’s career dragged out way beyond its sell by date because of this factor. Ever since injuries took their toll on Abdur Razzaq Pakistan lack a power hitter. We have lost countless games because in the late order, our batting up line is crowded with rotators.
While, the top order has been fixed to a degree with Babar Azam’s excellence. Imam ul Haq at least in ODIs has given unhurried but solid platforms. While, Fakhar Zaman’s form has been patchy but when he fires, Pakistan generally go on to win matches. However. Pakistan’s experiments lower down the order have failed terribly. Imad Wasim has been given a consistent run, but he is not a power hitter. Sarfraz, who for all means should make a decent 4, insists on batting at 6, and that too without success. Malik and Hafeez have provided impetus in some games but those are matches played usually in Asia against spinners or medium pacers. Mohammad Nawaz, is clearly not cut for this role either. There is talk of Amir Yamin, but he hasn’t set the world alight with his performances either.
That leaves us with Faheem Ashraf and Asif Ali. Even though they have been poor mostly with the bat, they have shown enough capacity to be given the long rope. Unlike the names mentioned above, they have it in them to clear the ropes. Faheem’s bowling has been spot on, so it is very strange when he is dropped. While, Asif Ali especially in T20s is a luxury Pakistan can afford. With a deep batting line up, they can take carry Asif in the hope that he can clear the rope two to three times and make the crucial difference. He has shown in international cricket that he can. Hopefully, with time and experience he will be smarter in his choices.
For a lack of alternatives, Pakistan need to back him and Faheem Ashraf. Unless ofcourse we unearth two power hitters in PSL 4. That would be ideal.