Swashbuckling opener Sharjeel Khan recently made his comeback to competitive cricket in the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League. The southpaw, who last featured in an international fixture during a 2017 ODI against Australia, has played 1 Test, 25 ODIs and 15 Twenty20 Internationals for the Men in Green.
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Khan was involved in the 2017 match-fixing scandal post which he was banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The swashbuckling opener played alongside T20 captain Babar Azam for the Karachi Kings where he came under intense scrutiny because of his shoddy fitness.However, former Pakistan opening batsman Mohsin Khan feels that Sharjeel’s fitness isn’t really a matter of concern as eight players out of Pakistan’s playing 11 are unfit.
Mohsin Khan claims that most of the Pakistan players are unfit
Khan, who represented Pakistan in 48 Tests and 75 One-day Internationals between 1977 to 1986 said that opening combination has always been an issue for the national side. The former cricketer, who also donned the interim coach’s cap in 2011 put his weight firmly behind Sharjeel, hailing him as a talented player.
“Opening has always been an issue for Pakistan. Sharjeel Khan is a talented player. His fitness should not be a major concern because I think eight players in Pakistan’s playing eleven don’t meet the required standards so it does not make much of a difference,” Mohsin told Daily Express.
Pakistan has been grappling with a lack of potent opening batsman in white-ball cricket for some time now. With the likes of Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul-Haq failing to build on the promising starts that they got initially, Sharjeel is being looked upon as the potential partner to T20 captain and the No.1 ranked batsman in the shortest format of the game, Babar Azam
But Head Coach + chief selector Misbah Ul Haq is not satisfied with Sharjeel’s fitness. The former captain recently expressed his displeasure at Sharjeel’s shoddy fitness and reckoned that while he is talented, he must work on his body condition.
“Sharjeel needs to work hard. I am not satisfied that a player has come back after so long and the one thing he had in his hands which was his fitness – if he was serious and wanted to make a comeback, he should have made his body condition perfect, ” Misbah was quoted as saying by Kashmir Sports Watch.