The two experienced cricketers Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are the talk of the town after the veterans put a strong case before the T20 World Cup by playing match-winning knock each for the national team in a three-match T20I series against Bangladesh in Lahore.
Malik led Pakistan to five-wickets victory in the first contest while Hafeez played an anchor with 67 runs as Pakistan sealed series win 2-0 after winning the second match by nine-wickets. From nowhere until the Australia tour to becoming an important asset in the team, both the cricketers are likely to play the upcoming mega event at the age of 38 and 40 respectively.
Despite their special knocks, few people still want the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to invest in young cricketers rather than taking them to the World Cup however some believe that Hafeez and Malik can utilize their experience to win extravaganza for Pakistan. The ball is in PCB’s court.
Let’s have a look at both cricketers’ records in T20 World Cup. Firstly, Hafeez has played 28 T20 World Cup matches and has scored 546 runs at an average of 32.11. His highest score with the bat is 57 runs. He also has three wickets in his account.
On the other hand, Malik has 426 runs at ab average of 20.28 in 24 T20Is. He also has 13 wickets in his account. He was at the non-striker’s end when Shahid Afridi scored a winning run to win T20 World Cup for Pakistan in 2009.
Stats of both the cricketers seem like they might get a chance in the mega event. Both the cricketers have already shown interest in playing the cricket T20 World Cup in Australia later this month.
Meanwhile, former cricketer Ramiz Raja is against carrying Malik and Hafeez who have already played their best cricket long ago. “Hafeez and Malik are not an ideal choice for Pakistan. The PCB should invest in youngsters who deserve more,” Raja said in a video on his youtube channel.
Many other former cricketers and critics have already opposed national team management’s surprising decision to bring in Malik and Hafeez just before the World Cup. Many out of them claimed that the team management was afraid of defeat hence they opted to go with the veterans against Bangladesh.
T20 World Cup is just a few months away and Pakistan team management is still not sure about team combination. Five changes were made against Bangladesh and who knows how many shuffles are coming up.