Home > Features >

Pakistan’s selection for Asia Cup 2014, ICC World T20 2014 is nothing but surprising

Shoaib Malik (left) and Kamran Akmal were selected in Pakistan's squads for the Asia Cup and World T20 © AFP
Shoaib Malik (left) and Kamran Akmal were selected in Pakistan’s squad for the ICC World T20 2014 © AFP

By Khurram Zia Khan

Looking at the Pakistan players selected for the Asia Cup 2014 and ICC World T20 2014, it is not clear whether the selectors want to go forward or backward. Perhaps, they do not have any direction at all. In the coming days, Pakistan’s cricket team is set to play two international tournaments — the Asia Cup and the World T20 — both to be held in Bangladesh. The team selected for both tournaments has been announced and as expected, the selectors have surprised the fans with their baffling selections yet again!

Considering the way our team is selected, I sometimes feel that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) uses a magic hat to randomly pull out names of players to represent Pakistan in the tournament or series, without any deliberation or tactical decision-making.

The first surprise was the selection of Fawad Alam in the Asia Cup squad. Alam played in a One-Day International (ODI) for Pakistan more than three years ago. His strike rate of 73.80 did not make him an ideal player for the lower-middle order. He is a player who can be more useful in Test matches than in shorter versions of the game.

Another surprising element was the selection of five fast bowlers for the Asia Cup. In Bangladesh, where the pitches are more suitable for spinners, I think Pakistan will be better off with an additional spinner or a batsman in their squad, instead of a pace bowler. Pakistan has some aged players in the squad and it will be better if a few youngsters are included in the team to beef up the fielding in case the need arises. Our team needs young blood and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Moving along, the team selected for the World T20 doesn’t paint a positive picture either. The selection of Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik is a regressive step since both of them have not given any eye-catching performances in the recently concluded Faysal Bank T20 tournament. In fact, Malik’s performance in Australia’s Big Bash League was utterly unsatisfactory.

Similarly, Kamran’s selection shows confusion and indecisiveness on the part of our selectors. It seems that Pakistan’s selectors are obsessed with having Kamran in the squad for any ICC tournament. His younger brother, Umar Akmal, has been Pakistan’s wicketkeeper for many ODI series. Umar will be playing in both tournaments, but I fail to understand why they would want two wicketkeepers in the team.

After all, Bangladesh is geographically located close to Pakistan and in case of any emergency, a replacement can travel quickly and conveniently. Still, if selectors want two wicketkeepers on the squad for some reason, then why don’t they include Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is a much better choice. Ahmed, after playing a winning match against Sri Lanka, should be given the boost and confidence to be an even better player. But, it seems the selectors are adamant on shaking his confidence by not selecting him.

The selection of Abdur Rehman for the Asia Cup and that of Zulfiqar Babar for the World T20 is also a questionable decision. It would be better if only one of them is selected for both tournaments. Fielding in T20 tournaments is very crucial and has always been our team’s weakest area. To bring agility in fielding, young legs are required. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s team only has four to five young players in the upcoming tournaments, while the rest are all in their early to mid-30s. This will adversely affect our fielding in both tournaments.

Pakistan was once famous for throwing its youngsters in the deep end, but now it seems that our selectors have abandoned this practice due to a fear of defeat. I wish the selection committee would revive this practice since many promising players lose confidence when they are not selected during their peak years; eventually they vanish from our country’s cricketing platform.

I hope that our selectors choose players with a clear mind set and direction. They need to have valid reasons for selecting or dropping a player from the national team. They need to take into consideration their strengths and weaknesses and the reasons should be made public. It is our national team and as a Pakistani, I demand to know why certain players were selected, whilst some very good ones were dropped.

Only if we select a winning team can we hope to win.

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

(Khurram Zia Khan is a writer with The Express Tribune, where the article was originally published. His Twitter handle is @KhurramZiaKhan)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Sachin has been my mentor and a guide, says Yuvraj Singh

Australia reeling at 281/8 at Tea on Day 3 of the 1st Test match against Pakistan

Michael Holding insists that ICC is 20 years late on crackdown over chucking

MS Dhoni has done a commendable job as India captain, says Yuvraj Singh

Michael Holding insists that MS Dhoni is no longer ‘innovative and proactive’

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here