Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that veteran batsman Asad Shafiq needs to go back to domestic cricket and prove himself.
This comes after Shafiq was dropped for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.
Shafiq had previously been a mainstay in Pakistan’s middle order in Test cricket, but Misbah and the national selectors have opted to give other players a chance to shine.
During the tour of England earlier this year, Shafiq struggled big time as he amassed 67 runs in three Tests at an average of 13.40.
“There are three major omissions from the side that toured England. Asad Shafiq has been left out due to lack of form after he managed 510 runs in his last 15 innings, including a total of 67 runs in England,” Misbah was quoted as saying by the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) website.
“Asad is an experienced batsman and I am sure he will utilise this time to work harder on his game in the domestic first-class matches so that he, like Sarfaraz Ahmed, can reclaim his form and be back in contention for the upcoming Tests against South Africa and Zimbabwe.”
In addition to Shafiq, left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir and Shoaib Malik were also left out of the squad for the tour of New Zealand.
Explaining the decision to drop the two senior players, Misbah said he wanted to give chances to young talent who can represent Pakistan in all three formats in the future.
“Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir are not part of the white-ball matches as for this tour we have opted to invest, develop and focus on the promising and emerging players who are likely to be available to Pakistan for all formats.” Misbah said.
Pakistan will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests during their tour of New Zealand.
The T20 series will be held from December 18 to 22, while the Test series will start on December 26 and conclude on January 7.
Pakistan will depart for New Zealand on November 23 and and quarantine for 14 days in Lincoln.
Pakistan’s Squad for the tour of New Zealand: Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Zeeshan Malik, Babar Azam (captain), Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali (Shaheens vice-captain), Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Butt, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (Test vice-captain), Rohail Nazir (Shaheens captain), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan (T20I vice-captain), Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz