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Imam-ul-Haq unperturbed by Mitchell Starc's threat
Pakistan News

Imam-ul-Haq unperturbed by Mitchell Starc's threat

Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq is eager to battle it out in the middle with Australia's fierce pacer Mitchell Starc when the two sides meet in Taunton on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old is oozing with confidence after a decent performance with the bat against hosts England where he and opening partner Fakhar Zaman weathered the expected short ball storm from Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

"Starc isn't a threat," said Imam. "In fact I am excited over the prospect of facing him. Same was said about Archer and Wood but we played them with confidence."

Imam and Fakhar's solid 82-run partnership at the top formed a strong foundation for subsequent batters to build upon and take Pakistan to a towering total of 348-8.

The sudden shift in Pakistan's batting form after being bundled out for their second-lowest total in World Cups by the West Indies came as a surprise to many.

'Have played Rabada and Steyn in tougher conditions'

Imam positively assessed his ability to handle quick pace bowling by shedding light on his heroics in tougher conditions during the five-match ODI series in South Africa.

"I have played (Kagiso) Rabada and Dale Steyn in more difficult conditions in South Africa," said Imam.

He overshadowed his compatriot batsmen by emerging as Pakistan's most successful player accumulating 271 runs, including a century, in the five one-day internationals.

"You can’t say a bowler is threatening," he said. "I try to prepare according to my strengths instead of bowlers' strengths. I don't think like that, because you need to beat top teams if you want to play the World Cup final."

Imam, who is the nephew of the current chief selector of Pakistan Inzamam-ul-Haq, has had a dream run in ODI cricket since he made a memorable debut versus Sri Lanka in 2017.

He reiterated the need for providing Pakistan a stable start in each game with the help of the aggressive Fakhar who never shies away from unleashing his attacking stroke play.

"If you analyse then you notice that teams have succeeded in the World Cup mostly when the top three players have done well," he said.