Image courtesy of: Pakistan Cricket Board
Pakistan chief selector Mohammad Wasim said the country has a lack of good opening batsmen, but Abdullah Shafique is proving to be an exception.
Shafique was included in Pakistan’s Test and ODI squads for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, but left out of the T20 team despite having played three matches in the past.
The 21-year-old scored 41 runs in the three T20 Internationals he has played, with all the runs coming in his debut match against Zimbabwe in November 2020.
It should be noted that Shafique has yet to make his Test and ODI debut, but has only featured in one first-class and List A match in his career.
He scored 133 in his first-class debut and made 15 runs in his first List A game.
Wasim noted that Pakistan will invest in Shafique going forward and hopes the talented youngster “will prove his worth”.
“Technically he is also very solid which is important given the fact that we are lacking in good opening batsmen,” he told PakPassion.
“Even in first-class cricket there aren’t any stand-out openers as most of the top run-scorers in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy were middle-order batsmen.
“We’ve looked at this guy and we feel that he is someone who we can invest in and who has potential. I hope that over the course of time he will prove his worth.”
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan departed 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 Test Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.
Pakistan’s ODI Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.
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.