Pakistan’s batting sensation at T20 World Cup 2022?, Will Haris open against New Zealand?

Mohammad Haris has been added to Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad as the replacement for Fakhar Zaman, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament after aggravating a pre-existing knee injury. The left-hander played only one match for Pakistan in this tournament and that was against Netherlands on October 30, where he scored 20 from 16 deliveries.
Haris was already a part of Pakistan’s camp as one the traveling reserves alongside Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Mohammad Haris’ batting against SA was turning point for Pakistan: Hayden

Former Australian cricketer and current Pakistan team mentor Matthew Hayden feels that the youngster Mohammad Haris’ batting against South Africa was the turning point for the Babar Azam-led side’s campaign in the Men’s T20 World Cup and it instilled confidence in other players as well.

The mentor of the team pinpoints the batting injection of a 21-year-old when their campaign moved up a gear. “Haris was magnificent. That was a real turning point for our team. When he walked in to bat, it was basically a breath of fresh air that awakened Pakistan’s batting lineup,” said Hayden in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

Where did Haris start his cricket journey?

Haris is from Peshawar in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, north western Pakistan. He made his domestic T20 debut in 2020. Haris scored a hundred in the Pakistan ODI Cup last year and that brought him on the radar of Pakistan Super League teams. Peshawar Zalmi played an important role in his development, where he was picked by coach Mohammad Akram.

There, the right-handed batsman went from strength to strength, proving his mettle this year where he hit 166 runs in five innings at a strike rate of over 185. He has been in and around the Pakistan team since last year without being a first-choice batsman. But he was named as a traveling reserve for the T20 World Cup alongside Zaman, who was ruled out due to injury during the tournament.

A look at his domestic numbers
Haris made his T20 debut in the 2021 National T20 Cup for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.In 25 T20s, Haris has racked up 500 runs at an average of 22.72.The right-handed batter has a strike rate of 139.66.His tally includes a couple of half-centuries.Haris has struck 49 fours and 23 sixes in the format.He also owns 548 List A runs.

A strike rate of 186.51 in PSL 2022
Haris finished the 2022 PSL season with 166 runs from five games. His strike rate of 186.51 was the highest by any top-order batter in PSL 2022. Overall, he had the fourth-highest strike rate among batters with five-plus matches.

Will Haris open against New Zealand?

Several experts have suggested that Haris should open alongside Rizwan against NZ.Haris, who took Rabada and Nortje to the cleaners in the Powerplay, could replicate it against Trent Boult and Tim Southee.This would release pressure from Rizwan, who takes time to settle.Pakistan skipper Babar, who is enduring a lean patch, can rather work the gaps in the middle overs.

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