Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes that wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal should have been included in the national team for the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh.
The three-match series will be held in Lahore and will run from Friday to Monday.
Akmal is coming off a highly successful campaign in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, where he was the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 906 runs in 11 matches for Central Punjab, which included three centuries and three fifties, at an average of 60.40.
Having played a pivotal role in leading Central Punjab to victory in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Akmal is now preparing for the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he will represent the Peshawar Zalmi.
In last year’s PSL, Akmal finished as the second-highest run-scorer in the competition after accumulating 357 runs in 13 games, which included three half-centuries, at an average of 27.46.
“Kamran Akmal should have been in the team. I would have picked Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal for the series against Australia,” Latif said in a YouTube video as quoted by Cricket Pakistan. “Hafeez is a good pick if he can bowl. There is a big question mark on his batting though. In One-day Internationals (ODIs) and Test matches, Hafeez’s batting has consistently gone up. He has performed in every position. Malik should bat up the order. He can score against all oppositions.”
Latif added that uncapped all-rounder Amad Butt should only be given a chance to play in the third Twenty20 International.
Amad has featured in 36 Twenty20 matches and scored 167 runs at an average of 16.70 and a strike-rate of 138.01. He has also taken 49 wickets at an average of 18.93.
“They should first try to win the first two matches and then try Amad Butt. You can’t drop Iftikhar who has been your best performer in the last three or four matches. I think Hafeez will open,” he said. “If Babar Azam opens with Ahsan Ali, Hafeez slots in at number three. Iftikhar should be at number four. Shoaib Malik should be at number five. Rizwan comes in at number six. Imad Wasim at number seven. Shadab at number eight.”