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Shadab Khan ‘feels comfortable’ batting in top-order

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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan revealed his preferred batting position in T20s, stressing that the shorter format demands not only skill but rapid adaptability.

The statement came after Pakistan suffered a seven-wicket against New Zealand in the third T20I here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

It was Shadab who took Pakistan to their eventual total of 178 after he came in to bat at sixth position. He put together a sensational partnership with Muhammad Irfan Khan Niazi, bolstering the team’s total.

The duo added 62 off 34 deliveries before Shadab perished in the penultimate over. He remained the top-scorer for Pakistan with a quickfire 41 off 20 deliveries which featured four boundaries and two sixes.

Speaking on his batting position, Shadab Khan said: “I have played one-down and two-down in the PSL [Pakistan Super League] and that’s where I think I am most comfortable”.

However, the right-handed all-rounder said that he was also fine with being used as a ‘floater’. “If I get a chance, the planning will be the same – I’m the sort of player who will look to make quick runs,” he added.

Furthermore, Khan said that playing an impactful innings is a more challenging task as compared with making runs on a consistent basis.

“Sometimes, you need impactful innings, especially in T20 cricket nowadays. Making runs consistently in T20 cricket isn’t difficult, but playing impactful innings is difficult,” he added.

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Earlier, Pakistan captain Babar Azam defended the team’s batting approach, saying that the Green Shirts were 10 runs short of a defendable total.

“I don’t think it [slow run-rate during the middle overs] made much of a difference because we had caught up. You can say we were 10 runs short,” said Azam.

“Unfortunately, we had a bit of a setback with Rizwan [injury] because it wasn’t easy for new batsmen but I think Shadab recovered well and had an outstanding partnership with Irfan. In Pindi, 180-190 is a par score. In batting, we did well.”

With the five-match series squared off at 1-1, both teams will now travel to Lahore where the last two T20Is will be played on April 25 and 27 respectively.

Pakistan squad for New Zealand T20Is

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haseebullah (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Irfan Khan Niazi, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan

Reserves: Mohammad Ali, Agha Salman, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Wasim Jr.

New Zealand squad:

Michael Bracewell (c), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Zak Foulkes, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (WK), Ish Sodhi.

READ: Shaheen Afridi calls Mohammad Rizwan “Bradman of T20 cricket”

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