KARACHI: Opener Sharjeel Khan, who impressed with brisk knocks against New Zealand and Australia in the World T20, is looking to earn his place in Pakistan’s one-day squad by doing well in the upcoming Pentangular Cup.
The left-hander was probably one of the few who could hold their heads high after an embarrassing collective display in the World T20 which caused a major re-shuffle in the team management with head coach Waqar Younis, T20 skipper Shahid Afridi and the selection committee vacating their posts.
Sharjeel, who was dropped from the T20 team in September 2014, admitted that while the pressure of making a comeback was immense, he is gaining his confidence back.
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“I’ve got the confidence back but it was difficult when I was making my comeback,” Sharjeel, who made 112 runs from four innings in the World T20, told The Express Tribune. “However, as I played more I became extremely comfortable and now I intend to get into the one-day side as well.”
The 27-year-old, who played impressive 47 and 30-run knocks against New Zealand and Australia in the World T20 respectively, feels he could have done even better.
“I could have done better in the World T20 but that is in the past now and my focus is on improving my batting, bowling and fielding,” he added. “We’ve got the Pentangular Cup coming up and that is a really good platform for me to make my case for a comeback in the 50-over format.”
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Sharjeel’s performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he guided Islamabad United to the title and also scored the only century of the tournament, earned him his recall in the side and the Hyderabad-born thanked all those who helped him during that time.
“The PSL has been an amazing experience for me and for everyone who participated in it. I’m sure PSL will go a long way in helping youngsters like me do well,” he said. “I got to learn from the likes of Wasim Akram, Dean Jones, Shane Watson, Tauseef Ahmad and other renowned stars. This sort of experience enables you to think big and become a world-class player.”
Sharjeel has played 11 T20Is for Pakistan, making 266 runs at an average of 24.18 with a half-century to his name while his strike-rate is 140. He has also featured in 11 ODIs for the Men in Green and scored 194 runs with a half-century on his debut.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2016.
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