Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman, admitted he is happy to see Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed back playing Test cricket.
Sarfaraz regularly sat on the bench when Pakistan picked Mohammad Rizwan as their go-to choice in all three formats.
However, after Rizwan had a string of disappointing performances in Test cricket, Sarfaraz overtook him on the pecking order and is now the first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman.
The 36-year-old returned for Pakistan’s two-Test series against New Zealand from December 2022 to January 2023 and scored 335 runs, which included a century and three fifties, at an average of 83.75.
He then made 32 runs in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in July 2023 at an average of 16. However, it should be noted that Rizwan replaced Sarfaraz midway through the second Test in Colombo after he was struck on the helmet.
Nonetheless, Rahim is thrilled to see Sarfaraz back in action and hopes he continues scoring big runs going forward.
“Ma shaa Allah…so happy to see you back in action and scoring runs brother…keep going strong,” the 36-year-old from Bogra said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Sarfaraz was not picked for the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan or the Asia Cup, where Pakistan started off with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India as their match was abandoned due to rain.
Having booked their spot in the Super Fours, the men in green continued to excel as they easily brushed aside Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, things didn’t go according to plan from this point as India crushed Pakistan by 228 runs.
The men in green still had an opportunity to qualify for 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