Pakistan Need A Solid Opener In Tests: Salman Butt
Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt, who is giving his everything on field to earn a recall, has expressed the Men in Green require a specialist opener in Test cricket to put an end to their ongoing batting woes.
“Opening is a highly responsible job and especially a team needs a solid opener in the longer version of the game. The make-shift openers can be utilised in the shorter version formats,” Butt was quoted as saying by The Nation.
Butt stated that Pakistan had high-quality openers in his playing days for the national side.
“When I used to open the innings in the Test matches, I had good partners in shape of Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed and we had scored loads of runs in Test matches. Eight out of 10 times, batted with Kamran Akmal in ODIs, we had excellent partnerships for the opening wicket. We also had the world record of scoring 140 for the opening partnership in the World T20 2010 against Bangladesh in West Indies,” Butt added.
The opening batsman for Pakistan, Butt served his five-year term after being convicted in a match-fixing saga at the Lord’s in 2010, alongside fast-bowler Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.
The 32-year-old Butt is hopeful to make international return while stating that he has rectified his past makes.
“Obviously, it will be like dream come true for me, as I have worked very hard during the ban period and always remained optimistic about my cricketing future. One thing is quite clear that my basic objective is to forget past and burry all the wrong things and look for future,” Butt responded while responded on his likely return.
Butt has also stated that playing in the United Arab Emirates has damaged Pakistan cricket following the slower tracks which neither assist batters nor bowlers in long run.
“Ever since I started playing domestic cricket again, I had scored over 2200 runs and I am hungry to score more runs. Whenever the selectors provide me a chance to represent the national team, he added.
“If someone asks me what is the perfect and ideal time to tour Australia and New Zealand, I will say, this is the ideal time. When I last toured Australia and they had the likes of Ponting, Warne, Jason Gillespie, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and other world class performers and each and every player was a match winner, but we performed well against them,” Butt remarked.
Considered as one of the finest left-handed batsman for Pakistan, Butt amassed 741 runs in the recently concluded Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, in which he hit four tons.
“Now look at them [Australia], they don’t have a single match-winner like past days, as only Warner, Smith and somewhat Usman Khawaja have some experience, while four players are completely fresh,” Butt further added.
After the ban expired in September 2015, Amir returned to international cricket against New Zealand in January 2016 and Butt returned to domestic cricket and smashed a hundred on his first outing.
“Look what South Africans did to Aussies, as they stream-rolled Kangroos and other teams also had great record against Australians in the recent past, because they had lost that fear factor. Pakistan should have entered the series with aggressive frame of mind and gone all-out for a kill,” he said.
Butt played 33 Tests for Pakistan before his suspension and scored 1189 runs at an average of 30.46. In 62 innings, he smashed three centuries and 10 half-centuries.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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