By Omair Alavi Pakistan may have lost the first Test against New Zealand but they might have a chance to recover and make a strong comeback to square the series. However, with the current team selection, it is a difficult task though not an impossible one. Pakistan must rest Yasir Shah and Younis Khan for.
SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Nov 24, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
The Pakistan and New Zealand (back) teams walk from the field at the end of the first cricket Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Park in Christchurch on November 20, 2016. -AFP
By Omair Alavi
Pakistan may have lost the first Test against New Zealand but they might have a chance to recover and make a strong comeback to square the series. However, with the current team selection, it is a difficult task though not an impossible one.
Pakistan must rest Yasir Shah and Younis Khan for this important match; they should go with an all-out pace attack as that will disturb the hosts. Younis has recently recovered from dengue fever and it would be better if he gives his body time rather than take the field and fail. He has an important tour of Australia coming up next and the team might need him there more, than in New Zealand.
The all-pace attack should comprise of Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan and Sohail Khan – two lefties and two righties. Mohammad Nawaz can be selected for his bowling in place of one of the pacers or Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali could share the spin duty on a pitch that is likely to support pace.
As for the batting line up, Sharjeel Khan must be tested ahead of Australian tour; he could be used in David Warner style because quick runs at the top will help the team. Slow batting at the top was the root cause of the defeat in the last match and with Sharjeel, that issue might get solved. Azhar Ali should bat at number 3, Babar Azam at number 4, Asad Shafiq at number 5 and Mohammad Rizwan at number 6, in case Younis doesn’t play. If he does, then Asad Shafiq can come at number 6 and bat well with the lower order like he always does.
Sarfraz Ahmed is going through a lean patch as a batsman and one hopes that he scores big in the second and final Test; otherwise he must practice hard to get back in form. The team that should take the field tomorrow could ideally be: Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali (Captain), Babar Azam, Younis Khan (or Mohammad Rizwan), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan.
Let’s see what the management decides because if they decide bad, it might bring down the morale of the players ahead of the Australian series; if they decide good, who knows Pakistan might begin a winning streak that ends with a series victory against an Australian side that is suffering from ‘Pakistani’ issues!