Pakistan captain Babar Azam continued to pile on the runs for his country as the hosts outplayed West Indies in the second ODI in Multan on Friday (June 10). With an emphatic 120-run victory on Friday, Pakistan has taken an unassailable lead in the three-match ODI series. The hosts lead the series by a score-line of 2-0; the final ODI will present an opportunity to claim a clean sweep against a struggling West Indian side.
Pakistan put on a challenging total of 275 runs on the board, courtesy of a 120-run stand between Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. The skipper managed to score 77 runs after registering a century in the first ODI. Despite the series win, former Pakistan opener Salman Butt slammed the team's strategy and raised several question marks over the batting order.
Khushdil Shah, who was the star of the chase in the first ODI, was sent out to bat at number eight in the second ODI. As a result, the likes of Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan were sent ahead of the explosive batter, something which did not go down well with Butt.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt said, "There are certain things that Pakistan can sort out for themselves. Like in the first ODI, Khushdil Shah finished the game brilliantly for Pakistan, won the game for the team, and was unbeaten. But in the next game, when Pakistan were in trouble, they sent Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan before Khushdil. So what are they even doing? What are they even planning?"
"They should have sent Khushdil ahead and allowed him to play a big innings. Yes he did finish a game, but does that mean you have reserved his batting for only those last 4-5 overs? Look at his domestic record. Look at how many centuries he has got. He is a batsman, but you are sending bowling all-rounders ahead of him," the ex-cricketer continued.
Haris was brought into the squad, replacing former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Butt also raised question marks over the role of Haris in the lineup and stated that the 21-year-old should be treated as a wicket-keeping option and not a middle-order batter. The former player believes it would be better to utilise Shan Masood or Kamran Ghulam as middle-order batters.
The final ODI will be played in Multan again on Sunday. West Indies will look to test their bench and avoid a clean sweep. As for Pakistan, they will be determined to claim their fifth successive ODI victory. Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq have been scoring runs freely in the past couple of months and will look to exploit an inexperienced West Indian bowling lineup.