ISLAMABAD  - Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif Saturday questioned chief selector Inzama-ul-Haq’s decision of giving rest to skipper Sarfraz Ahmed at highly crucial juncture, when World Cup is just few months away.

“I fail to understand the logic presented by Inzamam. There is no such example witnessed in cricket-playing nations that a regular skipper, who is fully fit and who is very much integral part of the team was forced to sit out. There is only example of Virat Kohli, who was given rest but it was due to very long season and he had played lot of Test matches and Indian team had number of options available unlike of Pakistan, who doesn’t have any other option. Sarfraz could have finalised the squad for the World Cup and his absence could cost Pakistan team dearly,” said Rashid while talking to The Nation.

He said Micky Arthur had said few days back that he wanted to give rest to Babar Azam, Shahdab Khan, Shaheen Shah, Hassan Ali, while Hussian Talat and Hafeez were out due to injury and lack of form but the highly notable exclusion in the name of rest is skipper Sarfraz, which I feel is a huge blunder as no team at this stage could risk resting their captain, who is leading the national team in all three formats.

“Had Sarfraz requested to be overburdened and needed rest, even then, if I was at the helm of affairs I would have thought long and hard before deciding on his request.”

“Australian series is by no means light one. They will bring tough side and almost all the players would be seen in action who are vying for a slot for the national team in the World Cup. Pakistan team management on the other hand had decided to give rest to key players. I know Shaheen Shah, Fakhar and Shahdab Khan are carrying bit injuries and it makes some sense of excluding them but their replacements are not easy at the moment as Pakistan cricket team, I feel is the only team, who had yet to finalise the possible contenders for the World Cup-bound squad and the inclusion of fresh faces clearly indicates that selectors are confused.”

He said such blunders could only be afforded when at least a year has been left for the World Cup.

He said Hussnain is a good edition as he came from a humble Hyderabad locality and I think in the past lot of injustices have been done to players, who came from Balochistan and other far-flung areas. “I support Hussnain’s inclusion and he should be given chances as well, but due to action both Hussnain and Shaheen Shah face fitness issues and I think they are carrying injuries as well. Both had back injury problem. Our trainers involve players in excessive training, which resulted in players bodies get very light. History shows they are becoming injury-prone and our players don’t have that strength in the legs, which is required. Our players look perfectly fit, but in reality, they are not as fit, as they should be.”

He said Australia will give very tough time to Pakistan team keeping in mind lot of changes and new faces as fresh players will be under huge pressure and Australia is a cricketing heavyweight so it would not be a easy debut for any of the youngsters, who are included in the national side and it is very likely, one or two of them are going to debut for Pakistan team.

“Odds are in favour of Australia but you never know when Pakistan team is on song and they had few match-winners as well, they might turn the tables and carve out victory,” Rashid concluded.