Colombo, Mar 16: Pakistan is taking their match agsint Australia very seriously. They badly want to be the first team to put an end to the Aussie's World Cup winning streak and so they are changing their batting combinations at the top. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal is likely to replace Ahmed Shehzad as the opening batsman for the World Cup match against Australia in Colombo on March 19, captain Shahid Afridi has said.
Pakistan"s strategy for the eagerly awaited game against Australia will be to play attacking cricket, and Afridi believes that he can strengthen his team"s batting order by promoting Kamran up the line-up.
Ahmed has flopped in all five of his World Cup outings, and has just scored 44 at an average of less than nine.
“Ahmed is a talented kid but he has not really learnt from his mistakes. We have been showing faith in his abilities but Ahmed has failed to give us a single good start and now we are thinking about going into the match against Australia with a new opening pair," The News quoted Afridi, as saying.
“The best option we have is to promote Kamran as an opener. He has scored a lot of runs playing at that position and has the sort of experience we will need against a top class bowling side like Australia at the start of our innings," he added.
Kamran played four of Pakistan"s initial World Cup games at the number three position, but was replaced by Asad Shafiq for that spot in Monday"s match against Zimbabwe at Pallekele.
World Cup debutant Asad, who scored an unbeaten 78 to guide Pakistan to a seven-wicket win against Zimbabwe, will retain that position for Pakistan"s match against the Aussies, said Afridi.
“Asad made full use of the opportunity that was given to him and that"s a sign of a good cricketer," said the skipper. “We needed somebody to do well at the number three spot and are happy that Asad has shown a lot of promise."
Afridi is hoping that the return of Umar Akmal, who missed the game against Zimbabwe because of an injured finger, will bolster Pakistan"s batting in their last Pool A game.
“Umar is fully fit and that"s good for us because he is one of our key players."