Pakistan’s recently appointed chief selector Inzamam Ul Haq made some startling decisions for his first assignment as he revealed Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming test series against England away from home. Flamboyant but controversial opener Ahmed Shehzad was axed from the test squad not on the basis of form, but due to a poor attitude. Shehzad was replaced by the 20-year-old opener Sami Aslam.
A day after the squad was named; former Pakistan player and TV commentator Ramiz Raja openly questioned the selectors. Raja was curious to know why youngster Babar Azam wasn’t among the touring party despite doing well in the limited opportunities he got. Azam has shown positive signs in his outings in New Zealand and in UAE against England.
“The selection could have been better as Babar Azam is now an established player and should be in the national squad,” said Ramiz Raja in his interaction with the Express Tribune. “In my view, selectors should look at the overall performances and not just stats, because that would urge players to play selfishly.”
Former batting legend Mohammad Yousuf too warned the side about the challenges of playing in England. “What worries me is that Pakistan’s Test cricket has mainly been restricted to the UAE for the last few years and in England they have a lot at stake to guard their excellent Test record,” said Yousuf. “It is going to be a tough tour for us and our first priority should be to ensure we don’t fold up like Sri Lanka has done in England,” he added.
Yousuf said that he expected the experienced individuals to shoulder the responsibility. “I think Pakistan should do better than Sri Lanka because Younus, Misbah, Azhar and Asad Shafiq all have plenty of experience,” he said. “But, the key will be how quickly they adjust to the English conditions.”