Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has admitted that fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was unlucky not to be included in the World Cup squad.
Pakistan announced their World Cup squad last week, but they are allowed to make changes to the side without permission from the International Cricket Council (ICC) until May 23.
Sarfraz’s comments about Rizwan comes after the latter excelled during the recent five-match ODI series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates, where he accumulated 231 runs in five matches, which included two centuries, at an average of 57.75.
With Rizwan having performed exceptionally against Australia, some felt that he should replace Sarfraz as Pakistan’s go-to wicketkeeper batsman, especially since Sarfraz has struggled to have a major impact with the bat on a consistent basis as of late.
Sarfraz already made it clear that he is not threatened by Rizwan, but when asked a question along the similar lines, the 31-year-old told Dawn: “First of all, there is no pressure on me. Call it Rizwan’s bad luck if you wish, that I am the captain of the team and a wicket-keeper too.
“Obviously, it was a very difficult decision for us to drop someone who has been in such a terrific batting form. I do feel bad for him. But, we had to choose four players for the middle order. So, we went ahead with Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez. Unfortunately, Rizwan couldn’t make the cut.
“But, it’s a good thing that our bench strength is solid enough to have players like Rizwan waiting in the wings. God forbid, if an injury occurs to someone on the tour, we know we have him [as a] back-up.”
Pakistan will begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on May 31.