In the previous edition of the T20 World, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan 303 and 281 runs respectively in Pakistan’s run to the semifinals. The next highest contribution was Fakhar Zaman’s 109. Only other batsman, Shoaib Malik, managed 100 runs, and the underwhelming middle order copped criticism for their middling returns. A year on, the situation remains as grim as it was during the World Cup, so much so that Zaman was recalled into the World Cup squad.
Both in the Asia Cup as well the seven-game rubber against England, besides the tri-series in New Zealand, the vulnerabilities of the middle-order was exposed. In the Asia Cup, they were over-reliant on Rizwan, with Babar enduring a rare lean patch (68 runs at 11). (Read More)