Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq believes top order batsman Shan Masood is the perfect replacement for Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq or Fakhar Zaman.
He noted that given the form Masood is in right now, “you can close your eyes and get him in the side”.
Misbah was referring to the 32-year-old’s outstanding county stint with Derbsyshire, where he scored 1,074 runs in eight County Championship matches, which included three centuries and four fifties, at an average of 82.61.
Masood also made 547 runs in 14 T20 Blast games, which included five half-centuries, at an average of 45.58 and a strike-rate of 139.89.
“If anyone from Babar, Imam or Fakhar isn’t playing, you can close your eyes and get him in the side. That will be a plus and it will be a positive thing for the Pakistan side,” Misbah told Jazz Cricket as quoted by Cricwick.
Masood was included in Pakistan’s team for the recently-concluded two-Test series against Sri Lanka in Galle, which ended as a 1-1 draw.
However, he wasn’t picked in the playing XI for either match.
Had he been, it would have been the first Test he played since January 2021.
Meanwhile, Masood failed to get into Pakistan’s squads for the Netherlands tour and the Asia Cup.
The men in green will play three ODIs against the Netherlands in Rotterdam from August 16 to 21.
They will then travel to the UAE for the Asia Cup, which will be held from August 27 to September 11.
Pakistan squad for Netherlands ODIs: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mehmood
Pakistan squad for Asia Cup: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir