Pakistan men’s cricket team Babar Azam has opined that the best available players have been picked to represent the Men in Green at the 2022 Asia Cup, starting from August 27.
There has been debate over adding veteran Shoaib Malik and all-rounder Imad Wasim in the squad, however, Babar Azam believes other performers are performing well ahead of the above-mentioned players.
“After consultation with the coach and selectors, the best team has been selected. The Asia Cup is immediately after the Netherlands tour, so there is no possibility of a change in the team,” Babar said.
“Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will be missed in the upcoming Asia Cup but Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed are players of these numbers and they have performed well. We will utilize Shadab Khan’s batting form and will look to have strong batting depth,” he added.
When asked about Imad Wasim’s return to the team, the captain said that the doors of the team are not closed for anyone but Mohammad Nawaz is performing well.
“Currently, Mohammad Nawaz is performing well in white-ball cricket and has won us matches, the way he is performing, he must continue, however, Pakistan will definitely include him in the team whenever required.
He also backed the Pakistan team’s bench strength while also hoping that star pacer Hasan Ali makes a strong comeback after being dropped from the side for the ODI series against the Netherlands and the Asia Cup.
“The bench strength of Pakistan is very talented. Naseem Shah and Shahnawaz Dahani have got the opportunity to perform against the Netherlands,” he said. “Hasan Ali is a match winner. Hopefully, he performs well in domestic cricket and makes a comeback for Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, Babar Azam confirmed that Shaheen Afridi will only play against the Netherlands if he is fully fit.
“We are carrying him because both of our doctors are traveling with us and they will look after them. Asia Cup and T20 World Cup are also after the series, we are trying to make him ready as soon as possible. If fit, we are trying him to play one game of the Netherlands,” he maintained.
The side will depart for Amsterdam in the wee hours of August 12.The T20I players will join the squad in Dubai for the ACC T20 Asia Cup on August 22.