Thursday, February 25, 2016

ICC World T20 2016: What are the Pakistan Selectors Smoking?

About two weeks ago, Pakistan's selectors announced the 15-man squad for the World T20, which included as many as 5 rookies. Since then the selectors have had a chance to assess performances in the just concluded PSL. Injuries, coupled with a few superlative performances in the PSL, resulted in the selectors announcing 3 changes to Pakistan's squad.

Out went the injured Babar Azam and Rumman Raees, while Iftikhar Ahmed for dropped.

In came Sherjeel Khan, Mohammad Sami, and Khalid Latif.

There were already question marks over the selection of Khurram Manzoor who could not even find a place in one of the PSL squads and with these changes the selectors have raised even more questions.

Sherjeel Khan, who had impressed in the T20 series against the England Lions in Dubai in January, should have been in squad from the beginning. If Ahmed Shehzad was going to be dropped, then Sherjeel was the ideal replacement, not Khurram!

At least that wrong has been corrected and on the back of PSL's only century, Sherjeel is back in favor.

It is the other two selections that are completely puzzling!

Khalid Latif impressed in the PSL scoring 206 runs at a strike rate if 119.07. His highest score of 59 was his only 50 in the PSL.

Good numbers, but it really makes me wonder why the selectors looked at him and not Ahmed Shehzad who piled up 290 runs in the PSL at a strike rate of 143.56. He also managed two fifty plus scores and shone for the Quetta Gladiators, ending the tournament as their highest run scorer - higher than KP, higher than Luke Wright.

It really makes no sense to me.

And poor Iftikhar Ahmed who had to make way for Khalid Latif. Iftikhar has been part of Paksitan's squad for the past 3 series, hasn't got a single game, and now finds himself on the sidelines.

I really want to know what the selectors have been smoking.

Maybe the same stuff that Mohammad Sami has been considering he also finds his way into the squad.

Sure Sami's performance in the PSL was outstanding. He took wickets, he was economical, and he looked as fast as he did 15 years ago.

But he's Mohammad Sami!

This is probably his 11th comeback to the national team. It is the same story all the time. He has been a domestic performer for almost 2 decades now. Isn't it about time that the selectors realize that he doesn't have it to succeed at international level?

Pass on some of that stuff selectors!

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