Image courtesy of: Pakistan Super League
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif said big-hitting opener Sharjeel Khan should be given a chance if captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan fail to impress at the top of the order in the upcoming T20 series against South Africa.
Sharjeel was included in the T20 squad following a series of strong performances in domestic cricket.
In the National T20 Cup, the 31-year-old 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.
Latif noted that if Azam and Rizwan don’t do well and Pakistan lose the first two T20 Internationals against South Africa, then Sharjeel should be brought in and given the opportunity to prove his worth.
“I think we will play with the current opening pair in the first two T20Is against South Africa, if the results don’t go our way then Sharjeel should be included,” he said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
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.