Image courtesy of: Pakistan Super League
Pakistan chief selector Mohammad Wasim said Sharjeel Khan was picked in the T20 squad for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, even though “he is exactly not where we want him to be”.
While Wasim admitted that Sharjeel still has room for improvement, he pointed out that there is no denying the fact that the 31-year-old “has that ability to win big matches for Pakistan”.
Sharjeel is set to make his international comeback after last playing for Pakistan in January 2017.
“Sharjeel Khan has also staged a comeback in the T20I squad. Although he is exactly not where we want him to be, he is not too far away,” Wasim was quoted as saying in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) press release.
“With the form he has recently shown in the domestic T20 events, he deserves an opportunity to further improve his fitness and show he still has that ability to win big matches for Pakistan.”
In the National T20 Cup, Sharjeel scored 233 runs in 11 matches for Sindh, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 21.18 and a strike-rate of 122.63.
As for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he amassed 656 runs in eight games, which included two hundreds and four half-centuries, at an average of 43.73.
He followed that up with 179 runs in seven matches in the Pakistan Cup, which included a top score of 108, at an average of 25.57 and a strike-rate of 127.85.
Most recently, Sharjeel represented the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). He was in superb form before the tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) as he was the third-highest run-scorer with 200 runs in five matches, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 40 and a strike-rate of 170.94.
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan will depart for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.
The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17, but the dates for the matches have yet to be confirmed.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) noted that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Bulawayo on May 12.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.