Chief selector Haroon Rasheed: ‘We don’t really have a serious contender, but Ahmed [Shehzad] at least has some experience under his belt. He did show some form in PSL too’ © Chris Whiteoak
Pakistan have replaced batsman Khurram Manzoor with Ahmed Shehzad in their World T20 squad, with chief selector Haroon Rasheed admitting that Manzoor’s inclusion was a gamble that “backfired” in the Asia Cup.
Based on the Asia Cup performances, there had been a lot of deliberation among the selectors at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. The top order was the main concern with Mohammad Hafeez, Manzoor and Sharjeel Khan combining for just 94 runs in Pakistan’s four games in the tournament. To address the batting issues, the selectors brought back the experienced Shehzad, who was earlier dropped for his inconsistency. He won his place back with his performance in the Pakistan Super League, where he scored 290 runs in ten games at a strike-rate of 143.56, including a half-century in the final.
“The inclusion of Khurram backfired and as a chief selector I take full responsibility,” Haroon Rasheed told ESPNcricinfo. “Call it an error of judgement or whatever, but we all have seen him scoring runs in domestic cricket and we gave him a chance. He didn’t grab it, it’s up to the player to justify his selection and in his case he didn’t. We gambled on [Shoaib] Malik last year and it paid off.
“Now when we look around for who is going to replace Khurram, we don’t really have a serious contender, but Ahmed at least has some experience under his belt. He did show some form in PSL too, otherwise we haven’t seen any other [impressive] opening batsman.”
More to follow…
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent. @kalson
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo