Hafeez expresses desire to open the innings

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Mohammed Hafeez, who started his ODI career in 2003 as an opening batsman but since 2015 has been preferred at No. 4, still considers himself as an opener.

“I am an opener and want to play as one,” he told Cricbuzz. “This team management had asked me to play an anchor role at number four because we have new openers who are growing and playing well. I play for the Pakistan team and try to fit in the role which is offered to me.”

The 38-year-old admitted it is difficult to bat down the order but believes he is experienced enough to thrive in any situation.

“Since I have played as an opener for 16-17 years since the start of my career, it becomes very difficult to go down the order. I always want to have more overs so I can take upon the responsibility and win matches for Pakistan.”

“I am not a one-dimensional player,” he added. “I believe I can play every kind of innings. On many occasions, in my career, I have delivered in tough and pressure situations.”

When asked about a perceived lack of power-hitters in the recently announced Pakistan squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, Hafeez said building the innings is more important.

You have to play a good innings which should dominate the opposition after you have settled,” the all-rounder said. “You don’t win matches by slogging. Rather you have to build an innings for which, I feel, we have all the resources. The boys have sound technique and have the right talent which is being groomed. I feel we have all that is needed [in the batting department] to click in the tournament.”

Hafeez, who was ruled out in the middle of the Pakistan Super League with a hand injury, said he has fully recovered.

“I have fully recovered now. I am getting the time, required to get back into the fold after an injury, and within a week I will be able to play full matches.”

Pakistan play a T20I and five ODIs against England from May 5, before the World Cup gets underway from May 30.