Afridi looking for more from top order

Pallekele (Agencies) - Pakistan is leading Group A with three wins to start the World Cup, but the results have been tempered by concerns over the top of the order ahead of Tuesday's match against New Zealand.

The 1992 World Cup winners were bowled out for 184 against lowly ranked Canada last week and were only rescued by skipper Shahid Afridi's second five-wicket haul of the tournament.

Experienced Younu Khan and test captain Misbah-ul-Haq consumed most of the overs in the wins against Kenya and Sri Lanka before Canada's inexperienced seamers exposed Pakistan batsmen's vulnerability against swing bowling in overcast conditions. Concern over the batting depth has caused selectors to take a cautious approach by picking batsmen or all-rounders down to No. 8 and having only three specialist bowlers. Pakistan greats Imran Khan and Wasim Akram have criticized the selection policy, but Afridi has faith in all-rounder Abdul Razzaq's ability with the bat at No. 8 and with the ball, hoping he can make a difference in bigger matches.

Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam has rejected criticism of the selections so far, saying Pakistan is picking the combinations most capable of winning.

 

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