Pakistan men’s team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq announced 22 probables for ODI and T20I series against Zimbabwe, starting from October 30.
A few experienced players have been rested while some youngsters have been included in the squad but there were few players who remained unpicked despite strong performances.
The 30-year-old Aamer should be considered as one of the unluckiest cricketers. He was once again dropped from the squad despite performing brilliantly for Southern Punjab in the recently concluded National T20 Cup. His innings of 9-ball 33* guided SP to the semi-final stage. The all-rounder took 10 wickets and scored 123 runs in eight innings with a strike-rate of 175 in the competition.
Not just T20 cricket, his List-A performances have been highly impressive too. He has registered 855 runs in 43 innings and has claimed 72 wickets. Faheem Ashraf despite playing less cricket in the recent past was drafted over Amir.
The 28-year-old Zeeshan was the second-highest run-getter among wicketkeepers after Mohammad Rizwan in the competition. He batted at an impressive strike-rate of 147.45 and made 261 runs in 11 innings. He was snubbed with his place going to young Rohail Nazir, who only managed to score 90 runs in eight innings. Rohail’s inclusion is commendable, however, his role is similar to what Rizwan offers in the side while Zeeshan bats up the order with a healthy strike-rate. His skills could be tested against a weaker opponent like Zimbabwe
Misbah had emphasized last year and also this year that players will be given chances on their performances in prime domestic tournaments but this is not the case with Zahid Mehmood. Usman Qadir was preferred above Zahid Mehmood for the Zimbabwe series. Comparing both leg-spinners’ exhibitions, the 32-year-old Zahid was the second-highest wicket-taker among spinners. He took 12 wickets at an economy of 8.50 while Usman picked 10 at an economy of 8.87.
It is intriguing to see that youngsters have been drafted into the squad but the aforementioned players want to know, what is the criteria of selection after posting impressive performances in a high-class tournament like the National T20 Cup.