Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan said captain Babar Azam needs no introduction in regards to how he strengthens the team’s middle order.
Shadab’s comments come ahead of the tours of England and the West Indies, where Azam is expected to lead by example.
The 26-year-old will be going into the series against England on a high as he was the highest run-scorer in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In the 11 games he played for the Karachi Kings, Azam scored 554 runs, which included seven half-centuries, at an average of 69.25 and a strike-rate of 132.53.
In addition to Azam, Shadab noted that wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan also bolsters the middle order.
Rizwan captained the Multan Sultans in the PSL and played an instrumental role in leading them to their first-ever title.
Rizwan finished as the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 500 runs in 12 matches, which included four fifties, at an average of 45.45 and a strike-rate of 127.87.
“Our middle order is strong too with Babar Azam – who needs no introduction – and Mohammad Rizwan, who is fresh from winning the HBL PSL 6,” Shadab, who is Pakistan’s limited overs vice-captain, told pcb.com.pk.
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