Tauranga : Pakistan head coach David Hemp on Thursday admitted they are still searching for their best top-order combinations. Pakistan are at the bottom of the table in the ongoing ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, losing both matches to India and Australia. The Bismah Maroof-led side are scheduled to face South Africa at the Bay Oval on Friday.
In a graphic posted during their match against Australia, Pakistan were shown to have experimented with seven opening combinations in 15 ODIs since 2020. Moreover, in that match, Pakistan were without the experienced Javeria Khan due to an injury and had to play Nahida Khan in place of her.
“In terms of the combination at the top, unfortunately, we found ourselves in certain situations where we have tried several players, we’ve got players that are improving their games. But in terms of actually cementing a spot we’ve come up with various combinations at the moment, we still have to look at those combinations,” said Hemp in the virtual press conference.
The failures of top-order meant that Pakistan have been reliant on Bismah and all-rounders Aliya Riaz and Nida Dar for runs, which was seen in the match against Australia.
“It’s certainly been a little bit more reliant on four, five and six and seven, which have played consistently well over the last eight to nine months. But the opening roles and the top three roles have certainly been an area where we’ve given people an opportunity and we are trying to find the right combinations of those players,” stated Hemp, who has been at the helm since October 2020.
The match against South Africa will also be the third time Pakistan will be playing at Bay Oval in the tournament. Hemp feels that being based at one place in the early stages of the World Cup has been helpful for Pakistan. “It’s actually been really helpful for us as a group. We’re not chopping and changing the hotels all the time or flying anywhere.”
“So, it’s been a nice, certainly beautiful place as well which helps. But the training facilities have been great and the people and the hotels are excellent — so we’ve been really pleased to be situated at this one location for this part of the trip.”