Pakistan’s current skipper and No.1 ODI batsman Babar Azam has requested the inclusion of Shoaib Malik in the team’s T20I squad. However, chief selector Mohammad Wasim has reportedly rejected the plea claiming Malik doesn’t belong in the shortest format.
The 2021 T20 World Cup is just two months away and preparations for the same are in full swing. Most countries have their combinations figured out but Pakistan is far away from doing so. They are struggling to come to terms with their middle-order woes.
Apart from Babar and fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan, none of the other batsmen have contributed significantly. As a result, Babar asked for the presence of veteran Shoaib Malik in the squad. He has been in great form of late, having set the stage alight with his performances in the Pakistan Super League.
However, Wasim feels that Malik’s inclusion might be a step in the wrong direction considering he is 39-years-old and won’t fit in the team. Malik last played for the Men in Green back in September 2020. In total, he has represented Pakistan in 116 T20I matches, scoring 2335 runs at an average of 31.13.
“We hope to carry the winning form and momentum to the United Arab Emirates” – Babar Azam on upcoming T20I series
While the second leg of the IPL 2021 will be going on in September, Pakistan players will be engaged in a full-fledged white-ball series against New Zealand at home. It includes three ODI’s but more importantly, it has five T20I’s which will help Pakistan decided their combination.
“We will utilize the build-up period by playing in home series against New Zealand and England and will not only aim to fine-tune our final outlook but also win as many matches as possible so that we can carry that winning form and momentum to the United Arab Emirates,” Babar stated.
Following the series against the Kiwis, Pakistan will face off against England in two T20I games on October 13,14. After that, their T20 World Cup campaign starts with a high-voltage clash against India on October 24.