Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What Prompted Hafeez's Test Selection?

Just yesterday I wondered why Hafeez was not part of Pakistan's ODI squad despite producing good performances consistently.

And then we heard the news that Hafeez has been selected in the Test squad for the upcoming series against Australia.

Strange how things work in Pakistan. Hafeez hasn't played a test match in two years. He has played ODIs though and done well.

Yet he was ignored from ODIs, and received a last minute call for the tests.

Again, I wonder why.

Maybe it was because of the abundance of left handers in Australia's test team.

The only off spinner in Pakistan's 17-man squad is Bilal Asif, who has represented Pakistan in 3 ODIs and has done nothing of note in First Class cricket to be considered test material.

Shouldn't the management have considered this when the squad was being selected? Didn't they know about the left handers in Australia's team?

Pakistan does have able spinners in the squad in Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, but their threat can be minimized due to the left handers. So a quality off spinner was surely required.

Considering Azhar Ali and Imam Ul Haq are the first choice openers, it does not seem likely that Hafeez will open, so he could not have been selected for that, especially when the squad has a back-up opener in Fakhar Zaman.

Or maybe the management is considering to move Azhar to number 3 and open with Hafeez and Imam.

Who knows.

It could be that Hafeez' recent performances in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy resulted in his selection.

A 6 wicket haul in one match and a double century in another surely would have got noticed.

And it is not like Hafeez has not done well in Tests in the past.

He has been one of Pakistan's consistent run scorers in Test cricket also since 2010.

He is actually averaging better than Asad Shafiq during this period. One wonders then why hasn't Hafeez played test cricket for two years?

Strange are the ways of Pakistan cricket!

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