Grant Flower believes Imam-ul-Haq is destined to have an excellent career for Pakistan

Waseem Ahmed 18:07 16/08/2019
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Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq.

Former Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower is backing Imam-Ul-Haq to have a highly successful international career if he continues to develop on the promise he has shown so far.

Imam has so far struck seven tons and six half-centuries in 36 ODI appearances for Pakistan but the left-hander has continued to face increased scrutiny by virtue of being the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq who recently stepped down as the selection chief.

Flower, whose contract as batting coach of Pakistan was not renewed after the World Cup, believes Babar Azam and Imam are the two most improved batsmen from his five-year stint with the Men in Green.

“Babar Azam’s the obvious one,” Flower told ESPNcricinfo in an interview when asked about the most improved Pakistan batsman.

“But also Imam-ul-Haq, I think he’s really improved. You’re going to see a lot more of him because he’s very driven.

“As long as he doesn’t get too far ahead of himself, I think he’s going to have a really good career.”

Flower (c) had a five-year stint as Pakistan batting coach.

Flower (c) had a five-year stint as Pakistan batting coach.

Adding on his thoughts on Babar, Flower said, “He’s probably the best bloke I’ve ever coached – certainly the best Pakistani I’ve ever coached.”

While he has been encouraged by the progress of Babar and Imam, the former Zimbabwe international has been dismayed by Fakhar Zaman’s inability to kick on from his electric start to life in international cricket.

“I’ve worked quite a lot with him (Fakhar), but he’s got such a different technique to others,” said Flower.

“He’s quite hard to work with, even though he’s a lovely guy. There’s a lot of rawness about him, but his results have been very inconsistent.

“But I think he’s good enough to make something of it, but he’s got a lot of work to do.”

Pakistan’s fifth-place finish in the 2019 World Cup has resulted in the non-renewal of the contracts of the entire coaching staff including head coach Mickey Arthur. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already invited applications for the new head coach of the side with reports in Pakistan suggesting that former skipper Misbah-ul-Haq could be in consideration for the job.

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