Sarfaraz Ahmed will be selected for England tour, confirms Misbah-ul-Haq
Fawad Alam is part of our team: Test skipper Azhar Ali
Statesman Report
LAHORE: Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has confirmed that former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will be a part of Pakistan’s upcoming tour of England due to his experience in English conditions.
“It makes sense to take two keepers on this tour because where will we find a replacement in those conditions. Sarfaraz is obviously our choice,” Misbah said in an appearance on YouTube show Cricket Baaz.
Sarfaraz, the last all-format captain of the national team, was sacked from the position and also dropped from the team just one series into Misbah’s tenure.
The coach, also the chief selector, had always maintained that dropping Sarfaraz was nothing personal and that he was merely given a break – a point he hammered home again.
“I felt that as time progressed Sarfaraz was feeling more pressure more so because of his own form which was suffering. It was a decision to give him a break so that he could rest and make a strong comeback,” Misbah explained.
“I am happy to see that he has worked very hard on his fitness and game. He is very much in our plans.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Test captain Azhar Ali has said that left-hand batsman Fawad Alam is still part of the Test team’s plan despite missing out on a central contract for the upcoming season.
Alam, who scored a century (168) on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo, last represented Pakistan against New Zealand in Dunedin, during his debut year, 2009, in the longest format of the game. He only has three Test matches under his belt, despite playing his maiden Test a long time ago.
“Fawad Alam is a determined player. He is an example for youngsters. Despite being out of the team for so long, he continued his hard work and eventually made his way back into the team,” Azhar said on a local news channel. “He is currently part of our team and whenever he gets an opportunity, I am sure he will make it count and perform.”
Azhar also explained why Alam was not able to make it into the playing XI in the home series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“I try to maintain consistency in selection. I prefer making a change only when a player is not feeling confident or is completely out of form. I don’t want to chop and change too much in the playing XI, so we tried to play with the same line-up in the last two series,” he added.
The 34-year-old is among the 30 players expected to be called up for the initial training camp for the upcoming England tour.