Sami Aslam and Babar Azam may be very talented batsmen but they are too inexperienced to be thrown in Test arena. And the decision to pick them while keeping Fawad Alam out is shocking. Isn’t it?
Babar averages 34 in first class and Sami averages 37. And look at Fawad’s statistics. He averages nearly 57 runs in first class and has scored 23 centuries in 114 matches. If he is in good form -- definitely he is; that is why he has been chosen for ODIs -- why is he not in the Test squad?
His temperament is ideal for the Test format. He can block the best of bowling attacks for hours and find boundaries gaps in the field quite frequently. If given proper chances, he can prove to be our Michael Hussey.
There are a few other objectionable selections as well. Yasir Shah proved his mettle against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE recently. So there is nothing wrong with his selection for Tests, but how can he be picked for ODIs. He was selected for the World Cup, played in the first match and failed miserably, giving away 60 runs in just eight overs. For the rest of the World Cup, he was ignored. Then why has he been picked again and that too at the expense of Abdul Rehman who has an excellent economy rate of 4.21 in ODIs.
And if the selectors thought that Abdul Rehman was past his prime being over 35 years of age, they could have considered Raza Hasan who is 22 years old and has been shining in the domestic cricket for more than five years. The lean left-arm spinner has performed well in the T20 Internationals for the country whenever he has got a chance in the last few years. His economy rate of 5.76 runs in T20 Internationals is just awesome.
Moreover, does Sohail Khan deserve to be in the Test squad. He has only one wicket from previous two Test matches he has played for the country. And he is 31 years old. Is this called long-term planning? Choosing Imran Khan, who made his debut against Australia last year, would have been far better because he was not unimpressive in the three Tests that he played in the UAE before being ousted without any reason. The man from Lower Dir has been performing consistently in domestic cricket for a number of years and deserves more opportunities. He has been instrumental in the victories of Peshawar, Peshawar Panthers and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in domestic events over the last few years.
In addition, it is a mystery why Asad Shafiq has been selected once again for the 50-overs format. His performance in this format has been far from satisfactory during the last five years in which he has been given chances consistently. He averages less than 25 years, far below Abdul Razzaq and Ravindra Jadeja who are bowling all rounders.
It is amazing that some players are ousted so soon despite showing promise and some are selected again and again despite failing repeatedly. Isn’t it?