Surprising decisions

June 19, 2016

Why the players performing well are not considered for the national team?

Surprising decisions

Ignoring Asif Zakir and Akbar-ur-Rehman for the four-Test series against England is a surprising decision. Both are prolific batsmen and have been in great form. If domestic cricket has any significance for the selectors, they should have chosen the two players. Instead Iftikhar Ahmed has been picked despite his mediocre first-class record.

Asif Zakir was the highest run-getter in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with 791 runs with three centuries and four fifties.

He was also phenomenal in the National One Day Cup in January this year as he scored back-to-back centuries against Peshawar and Islamabad.

Akbar-ur-Rehman, who represents National Bank of Pakistan, was the third highest scorer with 761 runs. He scored four centuries – including a double century – and one fifty.

He has been scoring consistently since his first class debut in 2007.

Besides, he is a handy bowler, with 74 wickets in 73 first class games.

Similar is the case of Fawad Alam. He scored 672 runs at an average of 56 runs, but was still disregarded. He was part of the Test squad against England in the UAE last year but was not given any opportunity.

Before these players, Faisal Iqbal has been treated in the same way. He was included in the Test squad for three tours in the recent past on the basis of his strong domestic performances but never got a chance in the three tours.

What is the point of holding such tournaments if the players performing well in them are not to be considered for the national team?

On the bowling side, the selection of Sohail Khan is completely unjustified. He managed only 21 wickets in six matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Many other bowlers performed much better than him but were not considered. Mohammad Abbas of Khan Research Laboratories captured 61 wickets in 10 matches. Ehsan Adil of United Bank Limited got 48 in 11 matches. Asad Ali of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited got 44 in just eight matches.

Moreover, Sohail Khan failed on both previous occasions when he entered the field in whites for Pakistan. He failed to dismiss any batsman in his debut match in 2009 against Sri Lanka. In his second match, against Zimbabwe, the weakest Test side, he also failed to impress. He managed only one wicket.

Ehsan or Asad would have been successful in English conditions where bowlers who have the ability to swing the ball off the pitch can do wonders even if they do not have enough pace.

Sohail Khan has great pace and is mostly accurate but these two skills alone will not get him wickets against England.

Surprising decisions