Sunday, October 27, 2019

Why was Pakistan's T20 Squad Overhauled?

We have already discussed the unfortunate decision to replace Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain of the T20 team. A team that he had taken to the top of the ICC T20 Rankings.

Before Sarfaraz was replaced, he had to contend with the inclusion of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal in his T20 squad for the series against Sri Lanka.

Instead of blooding fresh faces at home in conditions known to local players, Misbah Ul Haq's selection committee decided to bring in tried, tested, and failed players.

Who failed once again.

As a result, Pakistan lost the series 3-0 and Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked!

Pakistan's two senior most cricketers - Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez - were unavailable (with the PCB's permission) for the T20 series due to their CPL commitments.

So fine you needed to replace them but why bring in Shehzad and Umar when other promising prospects are available?

What is even more disturbing is that for a tough tour to Australia, Misbah's selection committee has not only decided to change the captain of the T20 team, they have chosen to ignore Malik and Hafeez, and have selected uncapped and untried batsmen like Khushdil Shah and Imam Ul Haq respectively.

With all due respect to Imam Ul Haq, who I believe is one of Pakistan's best batsmen in Tests and ODIs, I really do not think that his game is suited to T20 cricket.

Khushdil Shah is also a promising middle order batsman with a penchant for power hitting, but he really should have been tried at home against Sri Lanka. The selectors are not doing him any favors by sending him to Australia for a first taste of international cricket.

But what have Malik and Hafeez done wrong?


Since The World T20 in 2016, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have been Pakistan's leading batsmen in T20s, after the newly elected captain Babar Azam.

Malik is in fact the second highest run scorer, behind Babar, during this period.

Hafeez is the only other batsman from Pakistan, besides Babar and Malik, to average in the 40s.

Their performances with the bat, and the ball, and in the field, have contributed immensely towards Pakistan's number 1 ranking in the world.

Not only for Pakistan, but both Malik and Hafeez have been among the best in the world in T20s over the past 3 years.


Malik is among the top 10 run scorers in the world in T20 Internationals in the past 3 years.

His average is the third best among these batsmen, behind Babar and Maxwell. His strike rate is also the third best among these batsmen, behind Maxwell and Munro.

Besides Maxwell and Malik, there are no other batsmen in the world who average above 40 and have a strike rate above 150 in T20 Internationals in the past 3 years.

Mohammad Hafeez is among the only 9 batsmen in the world who have an average above 40 in T20 Internationals in the past 3 years (among top 8 teams with a minimum of 10 innings).

Then why were Malik and Hafeez ignored for the T20 series against Australia?

Shouldn't they be the backbone of Pakistan's World T20 campaign next year?

Should they not get some innings in the conditions where the World T20 will be played in 2020?

What are Misbah and co thinking?

There was absolutely no need to tinker with the T20 team.

Instead Misbah has overhauled a team that was the best in the world!

Unbelievable ...

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