PCB has announced the squad for the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan and Asia Cup 2023, where the young batter Saud Shakeel was not included. Former Pakistani Wicketkeeper backs Shakeel by praising him with the likes of great players.
Kamran Akmal praises Saud Shakeel
Former Pakistan player Kamran Akmal had been highly impressed with Saul Shakeel has begun his international career. He says Saud can reach the potential of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
Pakistan national men’s selection committee named the squads for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan and for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 where Shan Masood and Ihsanullah have been dropped from the side.
The left-handed batter Saud Shakeel has not been included in Asia Cup 2023 Squad. Former wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal came in support of Shakeel and says that the 27-year-old has the potential to reach the level of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
“I am looking at Saud from a different angle. I am considering him in the league, which includes big names like Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, and other five to six players,” Akmal was quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“He[Saud] should be reaching near these players in the next three to four years – given the performance he has showcased, particularly when the circumstances were difficult.
So, this is a good sign for Pakistan cricket when any batsman displays excellent batting performance, that too at an early age in early Test cricket,” he added.
Shakeel had scored 57 runs in the second match of the Test series against Sri Lanka and created a new world record in the longest format of the game.
The 27-year-old batter had played only seven matches so far, brought up his half-century. He has smashed a century and a double century and becomes the first batter in history to register fifty-plus scores in each of his first seven Tests.
Shakeel has surpassed many former players like Sunil Gavaskar, Basil Butcher, Saeed Ahmad and Bert Sutcliffe, who scored a half-century in each of their first six matches.
All-rounder Faheem Ashraf has found a place in Pakistan’s ODI squad which was explained by chief selector Inzaman-ul-Haq.
He said, “The Indian white-ball team is never complete without Hardik Pandya. He is there every time an Indian team is announced in white-ball cricket. You look at his record, he has won matches for his team with both, bat and ball.
It is time Faheem Ashraf also starts to perform like him. It has been so long now, he has to show some maturity. I want Faheem Ashraf to be a surety in Pakistan’s white-ball team whenever it’s announced yet.”
Pakistan Squad for ODI and Asia Cup 2023
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir and Saud Shakeel (only for Afghanistan series), Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz and Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi