Pakistan's middle order at the moment looks extremely congested with big names like Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, and Abdul Razzaq.
Even Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal are part of that when they are not opening.
Then how does a new and upcoming promising batsman like Umar Akmal make his way into the side?
It is not easy but at times tough decisions need to be taken.
The names mentioned above are big ones; most of them senior and experienced cricketers who have served Pakistan for a long time.
But when things are not going right, something has got to give. Pakistan cannot keep hanging on to these tried and tested players just for the sake of seniority.
Misbah's ODI form has been patchy for a long time now; Mohammad Yousuf's brief absence actually gave Pakistan a much better balanced ODI outfit.
Then why is Pakistan hell bent on continuing with these batsmen?
Particularly when someone like Umar Akmal is waiting for his chance.
Umar has been in awesome form and this is the best time to give him a taste of international cricket.
In his last 6 first class and List A games against Australia A and Sri Lanka A, Umar has smashed 4 centuries.
Form like that cannot be ignored; moreover his exuberance and aggression can do Pakistan a lot of good, especially when the current middle order is failing to fire.
Come to think of it, it should not even be such a hard decision to take.
If Younis Khan is thinking 2011 then he should not be thinking of Yousuf and Misbah as a part of those plans. I believe it is time for Yousuf and Misbah to concentrate on test cricket and be told that there was no longer a place for them in the ODI team.
That way Umar Akmal can come into the middle order; as can Shoaib Malik with either one of Nasir Jamshed or Imran Nazir partnering Kamran Akmal at the top.
Pakistan should not repeat the same mistake they did with Fawad Alam by keeping Umar on the bench for two years before giving him a proper chance.
Umar Akmal has got to play tomorrow!