Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Waqar Younis, the pace bowling icon, believes Pakistan captain Babar Azam was right to persist with spinner Noman Ali in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in July 2023.
Noman took three wickets in the first Test in Galle before following it up with a seven-wicket haul in the second innings of the second Test in Colombo.
Overall, the 36-year-old from Sanghar finished with 10 wickets at an average of 20 as Pakistan claimed a 2-0 series win.
“Given the pressure on Nauman, he (Babar) persisted with him; moreover, Noman did exceptionally well in the second Test match,” Waqar told Cricket Pakistan.
Noman wasn’t picked for the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan or the Asia Cup, where Pakistan began their campaign with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India as their match was ruined by rain.
Having qualified for the Super Four stage, the men in green continued rolling as they took down Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, things didn’t go according to plan after this as they lost to India by 228 runs.
Pakistan still had the chance to progress to the Asia Cup final, but they ended up losing to Sri Lanka by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method.
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