Umar Akmal is commonly termed as a ‘tried and tested failure’. Fans aren’t ready to handle the explosive batsman any other chance to showcase his talent and help Pakistan win few games. While the frustration of fans is understandable but Umar could be extremely helpful for Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 event for following reasons:
Variety in Batting
The presence of Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Abid Ali in the 15-member World Cup squad presents a picture of lack of variety. All of them are accumulators who usually take their time before launching an attack against the bowlers. Considering the flat tracks of England, having these many anchors in the squad is an extremely risky adventure which would hinder the green shirts to regularly post or chase big totals.
Presence of Power-hitter
As stated above, Pakistan carries too many batters of the same kind. The recent ODIs defeats against Australia and England clearly highlighted the dearth of power-hitters in Pakistan squad. Asif Ali played a significant role in helping Pakistan get close to England’s gigantic total at Southampton but others didn’t help him much. Inclusion of Umar Akmal at the expense of one of the accumulators would strengthen the power-hitting department of Pakistan. While this happening is set to test Asif Ali for his place, it also presents a case of playing both players on extremely flat surfaces like Nottingham.
Along with the variety and power-hitting, the Lahore born cricketer could also play the role of a floater. Having a player of his caliber would aid the unit to be extra flexible on true batting surfaces which usually require gigantic batting efforts. Having too many anchors in the 15-man squad or the final XI disturbs the momentum as sluggish batting is a major concern for Pakistan ahead of the all-important 10-team tournament.
While the Quetta Gladiators player has failed on many occasions, but considering the above stated arguments, the best can yet be yielded from a belligerent striker. The 28-year old batsman was recently found in a smashing mood as he recorded stunning batting displays in last Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Pakistan Cup. Moreover, Umar’s World Cup numbers are decent enough to put him in contention of playing the glitzy completion. With the cut-off date to present final-15 for World Cup coming close, it remains to be seen if the think tank is in a capacity to make a bold move.