Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“It’s good that each of these guys know each other’s games”
Pakistan head coach Dav Whatmore has praised debutant Sharjeel Khan and batsman Shoaib Maqsood for their performances during the national team’s 11-run win over Sri Lanka in Sharjah.
Khan smashed 61 runs of 61 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes, while Maqsood hammered 73 off 68 deliveries, which included two boundaries and four maximums.
“It was a very good innings by Maqsood,” Whatmore said. “He’s somebody that’s shown the selectors and myself that he wants to play.
“When you lose eight to ten kilos in a relatively short space of time, that’s a big effort. Just on that alone I reckon it was worth selecting him. He’s rewarded us with some terrific performances.
“Sharjeel debuted yesterday, but in my pre-match talk at the ground, I completely forgot it was his debut because I got the feeling he’s been around so much recently in the T20s. We eventually all congratulated him and he showed the sort of potential that he has. I’m not going to say he’s going to be a great player, but he’s got the potential to be a very good contributor. I’m pleased with that.
“Sohaib Maqsood happens to tell me Sharjeel is his childhood friend. During Sharjeel’s innings, Maqsood sat next to me and gave some useful predictions about this kid. They were both very true – on the money. It’s good that each of these guys know each other’s games.”
Whatmore also lauded all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez for his stellar knock of 122 off 129 balls, which included seven boundaries and four sixes.
“Hafeez was really keen yesterday to get back amongst the runs,” Whatmore said. “He’s been a very good contributor in some ways. He had a lean patch against South Africa and was very keen to get back into runs – you might have seen his celebration after the hundred. To me, Hafeez is an automatic selection because he is a multi-dimensional player – the sort we need more of in Pakistan.”
Whatmore also revealed that he may consider dropping Hafeez down the order as he is confident the 33-year-old will still be able to amass big scores.
“There has been some discussion about dropping him down the order, particularly when he wasn’t getting runs against South Africa, which was a disappointment for him, more than anything else,” Whatmore said. “But he knows what I think and I speak to him directly. I think he’s got many, many more years to serve the country and whether he does it successfully at number three or whether he does it successfully lower in the order is something somebody else will have to agree on, because I finish in the next few weeks. He’s certainly a valuable player for Pakistan.”