Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Haroon Rasheed, the former chief selector, has picked up-and-coming batsman Muhammad Hurraira as the man to replace Azhar Ali in the Pakistan Test team.
Azhar, who retired in December 2022, held an important role in the team as he usually batted at number three.
Hurraira is just one of many rising stars in Pakistan right now, but has been capturing the national selectors’ attention with his red-hot form in first-class cricket.
In 24 first-class games, the 21-year-old from Sialkot has scored 2,252 runs, which includes eight centuries and eight fifties, at an average of 68.24.
Given his outstanding batting average, Rasheed feels Hurraira is the ideal candidate to take Azhar’s spot in the Test side.
“Players like Muhammad Hurraira can fill the spot of big players like Azhar Ali,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan recently beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in a Test series before securing a 3-0 victory over Afghanistan in an ODI series.
Currently, they are featuring in the Asia Cup, where they started with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India as their match was abandoned due to rain.
Despite this, the men in green still advanced to the Super Fours and crushed Bangladesh by seven wickets in Lahore.
Next up for Pakistan will be a rematch against India on September 10 in Colombo.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir