KARACHI: Former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu said that Azam with his quick 98-run knock has helped him come out of his bad patch quickly. “He was not able to show his class in the Test matches and was the target of criticism,” Sallu told The Express Tribune. “Some even said it was too early to induct him in the team, but with his knock in the practice match he has shown that he is able to perform in the 50-over format.”
Sallu backed the youngster to come good in the upcoming matches. “Azam has the potential to score runs for the team and it is good to see him not waste many deliveries,” he said, but did add that it won’t be this easy against Australia. “He has to keep his focus on the ball like he did today by hitting 12 boundaries. Sharjeel also played well by scoring quick runs, which gives confidence to the middle order batsmen.”
He also praised the other players who have been called up for the ODI series, including Malik, Umar Akmal, Wasim and Hasan. “The win against Cricket Australia XI was made possible by the fresh players called for the ODI series,” he said.
“Hasan has been impressive before and he showed his potential today again, while Malik and Wasim are also fine all-rounders,” he said. “Malik will be very useful as his experience will benefit the team and also since he is a fine fielder.”
He added that the experience of Muhammad Hafeez and the bowling of Junid Khan will also help the team in the first ODI. “Now everything rests on selecting the right combination of players and using the right strategy,” he said.