Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja revealed that he didn’t include veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik in his 15-man World Cup squad as he opted to pick power hitter Asif Ali.
With Pakistan currently on the lookout for someone to fill the finisher role, Ramiz explained that this is why Asif got the nod ahead of Malik.
During this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), Asif scored 281 runs in 12 games for Islamabad United, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 35.12 and an incredible strike-rate of 182.46.
“Asif Ali will be a surprise for many, and maybe the selection committee does not even select him because they would play safe and may pick Shoaib Malik,” he was quoted as saying by the Business Recorder. “But in my book this is not the time to play safe, as we need to pick a player that is a capable power hitter. At the moment there is no better and cleaner hitter of the ball then Asif Ali in Pakistan.
“For an event like the World Cup, the management needs to be ruthless and decide whether they should select Pakistan’s best power hitter [Asif Ali] or go on reputation and play safe.”