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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Inzamam wants Shan Masood to open for Pakistan

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Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam ul Haq speaks about Shan Masood. Photo: Inzamam YouTube channel screengrab
  • Inzmam-ul-Haq bats for Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik.
  • Says Sharjeel Khan is a natural hitter and will be very important on pitches in the Sub-continent.
  • The former chief selector also backed Asif Ali for the world cup squad.

Former Pakistan cricket captain and chief selector Inzamam ul Haq Thursday threw his weight behind opener Shan Masood, saying that he would select him to open for Pakistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“I saw him playing at the PSL and the KPL,” he said. “If there is anyone who has played better than everyone else [in recent days] then it is Shan Masood,” said the legendary batsman.

“He does sensible hitting through proper shots at a very healthy strike rate. He knows how to rotate strike. So if I have a choice, I will definitely consider him. He is a good fielder and an excellent team player,” said Inzamam of Masood.

Inzamam said that Sharjeel Khan was a natural hitter, adding that if he had not been banned following the spot-fixing scandal, Khan would be one of the best T20 players today in the world.

He said Sharjeel was also an important player and had scored a century in a recent KPL match as well, adding that he will be very important on pitches in the Sub-continent.

Inzamam spoke about the top-order’s performance over the past few months, adding that it had performed well for Pakistan but the same could not be said about the middle-order.

“The top order builds your base,” he said. “Number 5, and 7 finish the match for you. These numbers are quite important,” he added.

Inzamam said Shoaib Malik should also be included in the team for the World Cup, adding that he was a senior player who can bowl and bat well for the team.

“You tried Azam Khan, Sohaib Maqsood and Haider Ali. These are all good players but I don’t think their performance was such that you can include them in the squad,” he added.

Inzamam added that hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali should be considered for selection as well as he has matured.

“At the sixth position, we need a player who can hit big shots at any time. And that player is Asif Ali. He hasn’t been a reliable player but he has developed some maturity in his batting and plays sensibly now. If he can score in three games out of five, that means he is doing extremely well,” he added.

“I have seen him in the PSL and the KPL. There is an improvement in his batting. So I think he should be in the middle order,” said Inzamam.

ODI squad for NZ series

Pakistan cricket selectors Wednesday named a 20-player squad for the three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League One-Day Internationals against New Zealand, which will be played in Rawalpindi on 17, 19 and 21 September.

Uncapped wicketkeeper Mohammad Haris, fast bowlers Mohammad Wasim and Shahnawaz Dahani, and wrist-spinner Zahid Mahmood have been named in the squad, while middle-order batters Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah have been recalled.

Iftikhar’s seventh and last ODI was against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi, while Khushdil’s only ODI appearance was also in the tied match against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi.

Players who were part of the ODI series against England in July but have failed to retain their places include Haris Sohail, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Sohaib Maqsood.

Pakistan ODI squad:

Babar Azam (captain, Central Punjab), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Iftikhar Ahmed (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan), Khushdil Shah (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Haris (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Shadab Khan (Northern), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh), Usman Qadir (Central Punjab) and Zahid Mahmood (Southern Punjab)

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