Wanted him back in the team, Imam hoping Pakistan power-hitter proves critics wrong

Imam-ul-Haq said he wanted Shoaib Malik back in the Pakistan team

Imam-ul-Haq: “I personally wanted [Shoaib] Malik bhai to come back in the team and I hope he proves all the critics wrong. His record against India is good too”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq said he wanted veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik back in the national team.

His comments come after Malik was included in Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for big-hitting batsman Sohaib Maqsood.

Maqsood was ruled out of the tournament with a back injury.

Malik has been in fantastic form coming into the T20 World Cup as he scored 225 runs in seven matches for Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup, which included a top score of 85 not out, at an average of 75 and a strike-rate of 149.

With Pakistan starting their T20 World Cup campaign against India in Dubai on Sunday, Imam is backing Malik to do well, especially since he has a good record against the men in blue.

In the T20 World Cup warm-up matches, Malik made 14 not out against the West Indies and 20 against South Africa.

Pakistan beat the West Indies by seven wickets, but lost to the Proteas by six wickets.

“I personally wanted [Shoaib] Malik bhai to come back in the team and I hope he proves all the critics wrong. His record against India is good too,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

Pakistan T20 World Cup Squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik

Pakistan T20 World Cup Reserves: Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir

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