Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail believes that opening batsman Fakhar Zaman should be given an opportunity to play Test cricket.
Zaman has been in exceptional form in the limited overs formats, but has yet to make his Test debut.
In the recently concluded five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe made history as he struck a career-best 210 not out in the fourth ODI.
Zaman joined an elite club following his spectacular knock as he became just the sixth player to score a double century in ODI cricket.
In addition, his knock was the fifth-highest in ODI history and the highest by a Pakistani batsman.
Overall, Zaman scored 515 runs in five ODIs, which included two centuries and two fifties, at an average of 257.50.
Given that he is in red-hot form and the fact that he has a first-class average of 41.91, Sohail feels that it is time Pakistan include Zaman in their Test side.
“I think he should be given a chance in Test cricket,” he wrote in his blog for PakPassion. “If you look at the Pakistani set-up at the moment in Test cricket, you don’t have the potential to go beyond 300 runs in a day.
“Having someone like Fakhar in the line-up gives you something different and backed by the bowling attack Pakistan currently has, which has the capability of taking 20 wickets in a match, you need a batsman like Fakhar to set things up for the bowlers. I believe there is definitely room for Fakhar in the current Pakistan Test side.”
While Sohail was thrilled to see Zaman make the highest score by a Pakistani batsman in ODI history, he pointed out that the 28-year-old may need to take a more cautious approach when going up against stronger opposition.
“There were so many Pakistani batsmen over the years who had the potential to score a double-hundred in One-Day cricket but couldn’t really reach that mark, but the way Fakhar approaches his batting, this landmark was always going to be on the cards and he just had to grab the opportunity,” he wrote. “However, I’m not saying he should change his natural game, but he has to now realise that these kind of free-flowing innings happen once or twice in a lifetime.
“He has to have a bit of a re-think about when he is playing against stronger sides and how to manage his innings in terms of which balls to go after and which balls to show respect to and I think this is something he needs to learn. He should have the confidence now and the know-how of how to compete against stronger sides and that’s where he has to capitalise and I want to see that happen.”