I want to focus on becoming a better Test batsman: Umar

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal wants to bat up the batting order AFP

Lahore: Jun 4, 2011

Talented Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal feels that a promotion in batting order may just help him to perform more consistently in all forms of the game.

Akmal has said that he is keen to bat at No 4 permanently but admitted he will work so that team management is convinced about him batting up the order.

“I feel that No 4 is ideal for me and I am trying to do well lower down the order with an aim to bat higher up the order,” Akmal, who currently bats at No 6 both in Tests and ODIs, told the Pakpassion.net website.

“I m grateful that I am in the team and would bat at whatever position the team requires,” said Umar who scored a match winning half-century in Pakistan’s last ODI game against Ireland.

Umar, who has made 988 runs in 15 Tests, at an average of 36.59, said he was focussing on becoming a better Test batsman.

“Test cricket is where I really want to make my name and that format in which I feel I can achieve the most,” he said.

“I am still learning the game, but I feel I can definitely make great strides in this format and prove to everyone that I have the skill and temperament to play five-day cricket.”

There have been calls to drop Umar from the national team because of his inconsistent form as while he arrived on the international scene with a bang in 2009 he has not been able to follow up on his great start.

The youngster has also upset many in the cricket circles with his tendency to go overboard in supporting his elder brother Kamran Akmal on recent tours.

Umar said he realised well that he needed to curb his tendency for throwing away solid starts. In the recently concluded Test series in the West Indies, he got past 30 in all four innings he played, but managed to cross 50 just once making 56.

He admitted recklessness has no place in the format.

Cricket has changed over the years and scoring rates are much quicker, matches are finishing quicker, but that does not mean that a reckless approach is necessary.

“My approach will always be positive and if I see a bad ball I will always try to hit it to the boundary, but my main objective is to bat according to the team’s requirement at that time. Nobody feels worse than I do when I play an irresponsible shot.

“Walking back to the pavilion is hard enough after playing a poor shot, but then having to sit there and thinking about the shot you have just played is really tough, especially when the wicket is a good batting track.”