Karachi: In the wake of their not-so-impressive outings in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20, Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has advised the trio of Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal to review their approach towards batting in the shortest format of the sport.
While Azhar said that Pakistan can claim to be a valid contender for the ICC World Twenty20 title due to its varied and effective resources but its batting consistency remained a matter of concern.
"Their injudicious shot selection remains a matter of concern," he said.
Mahmood, who is now settled in the United Kingdom as a qualified resident and is a specialist T20 player, noted that the talented trio need to change their approach towards batting.
"Imran Nazir is very talented but he needs to use his head. He needs to think that if he faces 50 deliveries he will get eighty or ninety runs, but it seems that all he wants to do is to hit the ball out of the ground from ball 1.
"What Imran needs to do is to stay at the crease with a calm mind and use his talent. Instead if he doesn't use his head then he will get those 10 or 12 run scores which are not good for the team," Mahmood said.
"Shahid Afridi is another such case and that really is nothing new. Everybody knows that Afridi has not been performing well as a batsman recently. However, he needs to apply the same advice that I have for Imran Nazir. The other day, he blocked the first ball and then tried to hit a six the very next ball which did not work," he said.
"Afridi needs to give himself a chance by playing for a longer time. We all know how dangerous a player he is but he needs to allow himself more time at the crease. People usually think that in T20 cricket, you have 120 balls to play and you have to do something spectacular from ball one but the reality is different. 120 deliveries is a lot of time and Afridi needs to play a few balls, take some singles and doubles, get used to the conditions and the bowling and then target the bowlers."
Mahmood, who has played in T20 professional leagues around the world, said that shot selection is very important in T20 cricket.
"I think a lot of Pakistani players are not doing this and both Nazir and Afridi are guilty of this problem, as is Umar Akmal. Umar also seems to be making the same mistakes.
The aforementioned cricketers are so talented but they just don't seem to be using their minds and their experience," he said.