Induction of young blood for South Africa Tests a good omen
This is the team which represents the quality of our domestic circuit. Everyone who is scoring runs is being selected for the Test squad. This seems a justified policy that youngsters are being selected though they are still away from getting a chance. At least they would share the dressing room with Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahamed and some of the legends who are now part of the team management. This would not only encourage them but also give them the opportunity to polish their skills with the coaching staff. This selection policy is also justified as most of the senior players are not performing well. So, isn’t it better to invest in the fresh blood? Players like Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Imam ul Haq and Muhammad Abbas have not been able to perform up to the expectations.
Shan Masood is no doubt the most hardworking player of Pakistan cricket team but, at the same time, he is unfortunate enough that still he is unable to cement his place in Test first eleven. Everyone wants to see him in the team but his performance does not allow to do so. A century then a series of ducks or single figure runs innings is something where he shows consistency. He could not carry forward the confidence he gained from captaining Multan Sultans in Pakistan Super League.
Haris Sohail’s lazy elegance this time didn’t help him to earn some runs for his team. Firstly he refused to visit England and in New Zealand, he was unable to impress the Kiwi bowlers. After his first calendar year’s exceptional performance Imam ul Haq is still striving hard to confirm his seat in the playing eleven. Now he will have to go back to domestic circuit to regain fitness and form. Pakistan’s biggest hope in the field of bowling, Muhammad Abbas has been well assessed by the oppositions as with the passage of time his performance is going downward. Once he is was in the top 10 bowlers of the ICC Test ranking and a player like Dale Steyn was expecting to see him on the highest place in the coming days. Unfortunately, it never happened. Abbas was off-colour during the New Zealand Tour and his pace and movement of the ball were far behind his talent.
Pakistan’s automatic selection in the Test squad for the last ten years Asad Shafiq is unable to impress the selectors by the performance he showed in the domestic circuit. Asad Shafiq is still striving hard for gaining form again as his comeback in the Test squad would help a lot in strengthening the batting. He has been the most successful batsman on number six in the cricket history as far runs and centuries are concerned. Shuffling in the batting order has undoubtedly affected his consistency.
The home series against South Africa is going to start from January 26 when in Karachi both the teams would be contesting their skills in the longer version of the cricket. Pakistan’s newly selected Selection Committee has selected a vast range of newcomers for this two-match Test series. Imran But, Kamran Ghulam, Muhammad Nawaz, Salman Ali Agha, Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali and Tabish Khan are among the players who have to announce their presence in the cricketing world by their performance whenever they get a chance.
Selection Committee has provided the team management with 20 players for the two Tests. It is very unlikely that more than two new players would get a chance in the playing squad. However, in the absence of Shan Masood, there would be a confirmed opening slot available for the selection of a youngster. There is a competition between Abdullah Shafiq and Imran But that who would open the innings with Abid Ali.
In the middle order, it is unlikely that some youngster gets a chance in the presence of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam and Muhammad Rizwan. Faheem Ashraf has definitely shown his skills and form in the New Zealand Tour. So he would be part of the plans of the team management. Yasir Shah has been the trump card for Pakistan in the recent years will, of course, part of the team with Shaheen Shah Afridi. In this situation, it is expected that Pakistan would rely on the form of fast bowler Hassan Ali. Haris Rauf has his chances if team management thinks they need an express bowler who could bowl above 150kmph. So most of the players selected for this series will have to wait for little more to get a chance.