Image courtesy of: Pakistan Super League
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan could win us two out of five games batting at number five or six.
His comments come after Azam, who is the son of former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Moin Khan, earned his maiden call-up to the Pakistan T20 side for the upcoming tours of England and the West Indies.
The youngster has been included in the Pakistan team after turning heads with his performances in domestic cricket.
In the Pakistan Cup, the 22-year-old accumulated 186 runs in seven games for Sindh, which included a top score of 69, at an average of 46.50 and a strike-rate of 124.83.
As for the Pakistan Super League (PSL), he scored 174 runs in 10 matches for the Quetta Gladiators, which included a top score of 47, at an average of 17.40 and a strike-rate of 133.84.
Misbah noted that Pakistan need a middle order batsman like Azam since he is capable of scoring at a strike-rate of 150 to 160.
“At [the] number 5 and 6 positions, we have given chances to almost all available batsmen in Pakistan but none of them have been able to perform in a satisfactory manner,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
“Given that we need someone who can score at [a strike-rate] of 150-160, we have picked up Azam Khan. At this position, we cannot expect the player to hit 50-60 in every game. Instead he can win 2 games from 5 at this position – so we pick players on that ability and Asif (Ali), Haider (Ali), Khushdil (Shah) have all been tried for that reason.”
Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20 Internationals against England. The ODI series will begin on July 8 and conclude on July 13, while the T20 series will be held from July 16 to 20.
The tour of the West Indies will consist of five T20 Internationals and two Tests, with the T20 series getting underway on July 27 and ending on August 3.
As for the Test series, it will start on August 12 and conclude on August 24.
Pakistan Test Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper) (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dhani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood
Pakistan ODI Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Agha Salman, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Qadir
Pakistan T20 Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan and Usman Qadir