The T20 format is filled with a high voltage action as the batters play with a massive strike rate, to maximize the runs in minimum balls. The game can be changed within an over if a batsman smashes the ball all over the ground. Meanwhile, the Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez has opined that if a player plays 40-50 balls it’s his responsibility to get his team over the line.
Notably, the white-ball middle-order unit of Pakistan has been facing a lot of criticism lately for poor performance. During a discussion with Cricket Pakistan, Hafeez addressed Pakistan’s middle-order failure. Meanwhile, Veteran Hafeez feels that the players who face almost half the balls in T20I should lead his team towards victory. Mohammad Hafeez asserted:
“Significantly, in T20 cricket, if your opener, No. 3 and 4 bat 40-50 balls, it’s their responsibility to take the team to a par total from where they can win a match. If they are unable to do that, it is their mistake. We feel that if a player scores 50 in 40 balls, it is a really good inning. But it is not like that at all.
“If a batter faces 40-50 balls and the team doesn’t win, whether he is batting at the opening slot or at No. 6, that is where the problem lies. Any cricketer from any side, when he plays more balls, there is greater responsibility on him to win games for the team,” he added.
Mohammad Hafeez pinpointed that players batting in middle order have not been provided many opportunities. He highlighted that Pakistan has changed 8-10 players from the squad due to which they didn’t get the opportunity to secure the spot. Hafeez said:
“You are not allowing your middle-order to settled down at all. In the last year, at least 8-10 players have been in and out of the squad. We shouldn’t be doing this. If you are bringing someone on the basis of his success in domestic cricket, give him a fair chance to prove himself.”
Lowest Economy in a T20I while bowling all 4 overs:-
[among top10 ranked nations]
1.5: Mohammad Hafeez (2021)*
1.5: Lasith Malinga (2019)
1.5: Mohammad Amir (2016)
1.5: Daniel Vettori (2010)
1.5: Sulieman Benn (2010)#WIvPAK
— ComeOn Cricket 🏏🇮🇳 (@ComeOnCricket) July 31, 2021
“I feel in T20 cricket, intent plays the most important role”: Mohammad Hafeez
Meanwhile, Hafeez further added that players shouldn’t be judged based on average but on the intent they show. He elaborated:
“Even if a middle-order batsman gets 10 balls to play, we start pointing out at his average. We need to judge him on the kind of intent he showed during those few balls. How much efforts he has taken to try and win the match for the team. We blame those who have faced only 4-7 balls.”
The 40-year-old Hafeez believes that the entire team has to follow the same intent in the shortest format of the game. Also, he talked about the types of players who should be backed by the team. Hafeez explained:
“I feel in T20 cricket, intent plays the most important role. It cannot be a case where two players play with one intent and the others with a different intent. The entire team needs to follow one process and have the same intent for a T20 game.”
“In T20 cricket, your failures will come to the fore. But both the management and players must absorb it. If you are playing a role for the team and your intent is to do what the team requires, they such players must be backed,” he added.