Would Sarfraz warm bench during World Cup?


Karachi: First of all Pakistan team management present Down Under is capable of taking any decision no matter how bizarre it looks…

From calling Nasir Jamshed as replacement for Mohammad Hafeez to announcing Rahat Ali to replace injured Junaid Khan and of course not considering prolific Fawad Alam at all for the all-important World Cup.

“What else should I do to secure a place in the team?” Fawad must be asking the heavens with tears in his eyes…

But if you listen to chief selector Moin Khan, “There is cricket after World Cup and we will have Fawad as an important player. Right now Fawad unfortunately does not fit in the combination.”

The fantastic recipe of Pakistan team management for World Cup success… No need of the most prolific batsman!

Fawad is arguably the best international batsman present at Pakistan bench. “He is a fighter… He can lead Pakistan team from the front,” Shaharyar Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, said last year.

And now he is not even in the World Cup squad!

“I will not let tainted players (referring to Mohammad Amir) again be a part of the national team,” Shaharyar had said last year. Now PCB is cherishing its achievement of bringing back disgraced Amir in domestic circuit. PCB is also looking forward to bring him back in the national squad once his ban expires later this year in September.

Coming back to the point, is the team management planning to rest wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed in World Cup matches? Sarfraz seems the only Pakistan player to play daringly against top teams. He has shown that in UAE last year.

Misbah himself said that Sarfraz is game-changer!

Now what has happened? Sarfraz has been misused as opener… Sarfraz has been picked in the squad for World Cup as third opener. The decision of considering Sarfraz as third opener in itself is a strange decision.

Sarfraz has showed impressive performances down the order so the decision to promote him as opener was a ridiculous one. Misbah need to promote himself up the order and come at number three or four and take responsibility as legendary Imran Khan did in 1992 and let Sarfraz come where he plays best.

One cannot have a player like Adam Gilchrist, MS Dhoni, AB de Villiers or Kumar Sangakkara overnight. Sarfraz possesses that potential and if he is given that chance, he could do that for Pakistan also. He has showed that last year.

Sarfraz opened against Bangladesh and couldn’t perform. Now Umar Akmal has been picked to keep wickets against England warm-up. So, the plans to rest Sarfraz in World Cup matches seem evident.

Let’s hope Pakistan let Sarfraz keep wickets Down Under during World Cup and not settle with makeshift wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal and don’t continue with its bizarre strategies.