Good riddance to Imran Farhat!
Ahmed Shehzad's performance speaks for itself, and it surprises me that he continues to be ignored.
When Mohammad Ilyas announced his resignation following the series between Pakistan and England, I was a content man. Not because Mohammad Ilyas wasn't going to be part of the PCB selection committee going forward, but because his resignation signaled the end of Imran Farhat's career.
It has been cause for suspicion that Farhat's inclusion in Pakistan's squads has been due to dear daddy-in-law, and with him no longer selecting the team now, Farhat was likely to be dropped. This was made official when Pakistan's new chief selector, Iqbal Qasim, announced Pakistan's squad for the upcoming Asia Cup.
I was doubly satisfied when not only Farhat, but Shoaib Malik was also axed.
No Imran Farhat. No Shoaib Malik. God, I must be dreaming. When was the last time a Pakistan squad was picked without either of these two? I really don't remember. I won't lie, I was expecting this, but still I had to read the list twice to make sure I wasn't dreaming!
With both these alleged parchis out of the team, Nasir Jamshed made his comeback, and Adnan Akmal made way for Sarfraz Ahmed for the wicketkeeping duties/ I believe Iqbal Qasim has done a good job.
Sarfraz should have always been behind the stumps for the ODIs and I still don't know why he was dropped for the England series when he had a decent outing against the Sri Lankans in December. Adnan is good for the tests no doubt, but for the ODIs, a more aggressive Sarfraz definitely makes more sense.
I don't mind the inclusion of Nasir Jamshed (anyone but Farhat really) considering he provides aggressive starts at the top of the innings. However, I do wonder what was the criteria for his selection. Considering that the Asia Cup will be played in Bangladesh, the selectors might have given some weight to the performances of the Pakistani players that took part in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.
But then if that was the case, there were three Pakistani openers that did better than Nasir Jamshed did in the BPL.
I will never advocate the inclusion of Kamran Akmal in any Pakistan team, where as for Imran Nazir, he might be good enough to still play T20s for Pakistan, but I feel he is too unreliable for the ODIs.
On the other hand, Ahmed Shehzad is Pakistan's future, and it surprises me that he continues to be ignored. His performance in the BPL speaks for itself, and even if the BPL performance is not enough evidence, I fail to understand why he got dropped from the team in the first place. Even though I did hear something about disciplinary issues being the reason behind this decision.
Seriously? Are you telling me that there is no one in the Pakistan team management that can discipline this 20-year-old kid?
The National One Day Championship in Pakistan hasn't happened yet this season, but one can always compare Nasir and Shehzad's performances in the domestic T20 and first class games.
During the current 2011-12 domestic season, Ahmed Shehzad has outperformed Nasir Jamshed in every competition, besides the Pentangular Cup. If you include the BPL among these, then one can see that Shehzad has done better than Nasir in four domestic tournaments out of five.
Then what made the selectors go for Nasir and not Shehzad? It's not that Nasir has done badly, since he has had a decent season domestically and has proven himself at the BPL too, it's just that Shehzad has done better.
Why does he remains on the sidelines then? That is anyone's guess.
This post was originally published here.