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'Give me three chances as opener to prove myself'

13 January, 2014

KARACHI: Many consider sidelined Kamran Akmal as a spent force; but the wicket-keeper is alive and kicking in the current domestic season.

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The most experienced wicket-keeper in the current Pakistan lot has regained his batting form, making vital contributions for his department — the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in the ongoing President's Cup One-Day Trophy.

Kamran, who has played 53 Tests, 154 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 50 Twenty20s, was dropped following last year's Champions Trophy due to persistent batting failure.

Even though the player had been preferred due to his batting skills, he scored only 238 runs from 13 ODI matches at an average of just 18 last year, before being dropped.

However, he has started scoring runs and has so far made 251 from seven innings including a century and a half century in the One Day Cup for his side.

When questioned about the change in form, he replied to Our Sources and said, "The batting order. I am an upper-order batsman in ODIs and T20s. Unfortunately, I did not get enough of a chance to bat due to the relegation in my batting order [in the national squad].

"I've proven this with my performance as an opener in the domestic circuit. I was successful in showing my skills as a batsman in the past because the previous captains [Inzamamul Haq, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi] used me as an opener.

"It's not justified to expect the same from me while batting at number seven or eight."

The wicket-keeper further stated that he needed just three chances to prove his mettle.

"I am playing well. Just give me three chances as an opener and if I fail to deliver, then I will have no complaints even if I'll be dropped permanently," said the wicket-keeper before adding that he was looking to play for Pakistan for the next five to seven years.

'Umar's formula not beneficial in longer role'

Kamran, who has undergone 447 dismissals in international cricket, the highest by any Pakistan wicket-keeper, felt Umar Akmal's dual role was not effective in the longer run.

"Umar is enjoying his new role [wicket-keeper/batsman], but I think it's not affective for him as well as for the team in the longer run.

"He can play an effective role as a specialist batsman. Umar's batting will later be affected because of this additional responsibility."

End.