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Brook must be pencilled in at No. 5 in England's first T20 World Cup game: Hussain

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Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Karachi, Sep 24 (IANS) In England's thumping 63-run win over Pakistan in the third T20I at the National Stadium, young Harry Brook sizzled with an unbeaten 81 off just 35 balls, his maiden fifty in the format and becoming one of the main architects in the visitors taking a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series.

With Brook registering scores 41, 31 and now an unbeaten 81 against Pakistan, with the help of eight fours and five sixes, former England captain Nasser Hussain wants the side to play him at number five in their opening game of the T20 World Cup against Afghanistan on October 22.

"In that first World Cup game, in Perth against Afghanistan, Brook must be pencilled in at No 5. He's a serious talent. Harry Brook is just going to be superstar in all formats, he really is. His run-getting over the last couple of years at Yorkshire has been prolific and I think it will continue to be," said Hussain on Sky Sports after the match ended.

Asked what makes Brook stand out from other batters in the England side, Hussain explained, "His all-around-the-ground hitting is a key point. Some players will target the leg side, but if you bowl outside off to him, he'll go over extra cover as well, so there's no area that you're safe. He's 360 but in a different way. Like most players now he's got fast hands, he never really loses his shape, and he continues to be consistent."

By the time England kick-start their World Cup campaign, the likes of Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and captain Jos Buttler, who haven't featured in the ongoing series against Pakistan, would be returning to the playing eleven.

Hussain remarked England should resist moving Brook from number five position in the batting order.

"Batting at five is not an easy position to come in. You ask anyone in white-ball cricket where you like to bat then it's in the top two or three, as you're batting in the power play and you're already in when spin comes on and pace is coming off the ball. Every time he has been coming in at five, he has been prolific and consistent, because he has done it before at Yorkshire."

"Going into this series you were looking at how we get Brook into the starting XI, but I can't see how you can leave him out now. I really can't, he's that good of a player and he's very good in the field as well. I think, for me, he's absolutely nailed-on for that No 5 spot for the first game in that World Cup."

Earlier, Brook credited a solid game plan for helping him get a sensational victory for England in the third T20I against Pakistan. "It was very nice to get out there and have a match-winning performance. It was quite similar to the other night, every pitch has been fairly similar, so just hitting through the line of the ball and trying to play on the front foot as much as possible - just having a solid game plan and sticking to it."

--IANS

nr/akm

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