ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board added Shoaib Malik as the 16th player to face mighty England for the Test series in UAE.
Although Malik did tremendously well in the Zimbabwe but PCB completely ignored the fact, Malik had performed only in shorter versions of the game. He had not played any domestic match since long and yet to prove his fitness for the longer version of the game.
It was also sheer injustice with specialist middle order batsman Faisal Iqbal, who had scored loads of runs in domestic cricket in the last several seasons and was branded as Test batsman. Selectors also completely ignored Immad Wasim, who was instrumental with both willow and leather in the last two series. He deserves much better treatment. The concept of off spinners bowling well against left handed batsmen had long been changed. Malik hardly bowls in ODIs with the only exception of Zimbabwe series while Immad was bowling regularly. Instead of picking aged Zulfiqar Babar, Immad could have been much better option as he not only can bowl well but is more than handy too with the willow as well.
Ahmed Shahzad and M Hafeez hardly contribute on regular basis and the bitter fact is Hafeez doesn't even deserve place in T/20 or ODIs as a specialist batsman. Including him in the Test squad is grave injustice to those players, who had long performing well in the domestic circuit. The UAE was the perfect platform to launch fresh talent rather than giving them chance in the return series in England, where conditions would be hard for top class Pakistani players, young guns are bound to flop and fade away. Shahzad has given too many opportunities without any solid performances.
It was ideal time that Azahar Ali should open the innings alongside Shan Masood, as Azhar did in the One Day Internationals. He usually had to come very early as Shahzad just can't prolong his stay at the crease. It would give team more balance and middle order could have pose serious threat. It would be a completely different English team as compared to 2012, when Pakistan inflicted 3-0 whitewash against visitors. Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal were the key weapons. Now both are not available for the national team .
Although Yasir Shah is bowling superbly but he had yet to face English batting. It was also highly injustice to young M Rizwan, who is performing in all departments, but yet to be recognized. Selectors completely forget a simple point that national team is revolving around aged players, who would soon exit. Who would fill the gap and void left by the backbones of Pakistan team ? Fawad Alam had last played in a Test five years ago so is the case with Malik. If team management decides in favour of specialist openers, which is highly likely then they had to pick Asad Shafiq or Malik. If Azhar Ali is considered as opener then both Asad and Malik can play. Things would be much difficult and tough for the hosts as England had hired Maliha Jayawerdene to counter Pakistani spinners. Only logical playing XI could safe Pakistani team blushes or else it would be a lost cause.