Pakistan left-handed opener Sami Aslam reveals surprise on the decision of the six Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises for not picking him in the final squad for the third edition.
Aslam, who has represented Pakistan in 13 Test since making his debut in the longest format on April 28 against Bangladesh at Khulna, says he had scored an unbeaten 91 just a day before the draft and still wasn’t considered.
“There’s not much I can say about this except for stating the fact that a day before this year’s draft, I scored 91 not out and I thought I would be picked,” he said while talking to PakPassion. “I was totally surprised by the fact that I was not picked by any franchise for the PSL. I suppose, all that is left for me to do is to continue performing in the same way I did in the National T20 Cup, but I will admit that I am puzzled that I have been ignored by all PSL franchises every season.
On Test average
Aslam has scored 758 runs in his 13 outings with the Pakistan Test side courtesy seven fifties, but he admits that his average of 31.58 needs to improve.
“To be honest, my Test batting average should have been much better than what it is now,” he said. “However, in my defence, I would say that I’ve had to play on some very tough international tours of England, New Zealand and Australia, so it wasn’t that easy for me. Regardless of the difficulties I have faced, I am not satisfied with my Test performances so far and there is room for improvement.”
He continued by explaining why he wasn’t able to convert his starts into big innings.
“It is not about the pressure. Against England in the 3rd Test in 2016, I was unfortunately run out on 82 when I feel I was playing really well. In the match against the West Indies in the Day-Night Dubai Test in 2016, I was out for 90 after playing a poor shot and then on the tour of New Zealand I lost my wicket for 91, but then I was trying to play aggressively as we were making a bid to win the 2nd Test in Hamilton. So, I do not think there is any question of a mental block as far as my approach is concerned. I have a great track record in Under 19s and at the List-A level with an excellent conversion rate and I am quite used to playing under pressure. I suppose poor shot selection and some bad luck is to blame for my inability to score a Test hundred which is something I am also very disappointed about,” he explained.
On permanent spot in national team
Aslam has been switching his opening spot with another left-handed opener Shan Masood and now Fakhar Zaman seems to be in contention of grabbing the spot, but the 22-year-old believes he has done enough to ensure selection for the upcoming tour to England.
“If I look back at my Test career, I can see that I did really well against England in 2016 then had an excellent series versus West Indies and New Zealand that year,” he said. “Unfortunately, I failed to perform in the subsequent series against Australia and was not considered for the 2017 tour of West Indies. On my return to the Test side recently against Sri Lanka, I had some good starts. I am really hopeful that I have done enough to ensure selection during the upcoming England series this summer.”