Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan captain, sees Saud Shakeel, Muhammad Hurraira and Omair Bin Yousuf as perfect replacements for middle order batsman Fawad Alam and top order batter Azhar Ali.
Alam was dropped from the Test side after a string of disappointing performances, while Azhar retired from international cricket in December 2022.
Shakeel has already made a major impact after being given the chance to bat in the middle order as he has accumulated 875 runs in seven Test matches, which includes two centuries and six fifties, at an average of 87.50.
Hurraira and Yousuf are both seen as future superstars since they 21 and 24 years old respectively and average 64.05 and 44.18 in first-class cricket.
Currently, Hurraira is representing Faisalabad Region in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which is Pakistan’s first-class competition, while Yousuf is playing for Karachi Region Whites.
“If you have dropped Fawad Alam and Azhar Ali has left, then this young lot is quite strong,” Latif said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Shakeel was recently in action for Pakistan in their two-Test series against Sri Lanka, where he scored 295 runs, which included a career-best 208 not out, at an average of 147.50.
He then proceeded to make nine runs in one ODI against Afghanistan.
Recently, the 27-year-old from Karachi was part of Pakistan’s squad for the Asia Cup, but he didn’t play a single game.
Hurraira and Yousuf were not selected for the competition.
The men in green began their Asia Cup campaign with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India as their match was rained off.
Having made it through to the Super Four stage, the men in green defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, everything went wrong from this point as Pakistan lost to India by 228 runs and Sri Lanka by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method, which resulted in them being eliminated from the Asia Cup.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 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, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir