Whenever a selection committee arrange a meeting to finalize the squad for any upcoming series almost 12-13 slots are already finalized for which the selection committee members doesn’t need to think much, for remaining 2-3 players they have to brain storm and make a decision after gathering all the facts and figures, so that they will complete a squad of 16 players.
But few questions arise if you see that the selection of these 2-3 slots is not justified.
Are the selectors in PCB who is heavily paid doing justice with their position and authorities?
Do they have the powers to perform their job without taking decision from outside forces?
Inzamam ul Haq led selection committee announced the squad for Srilanka series in UAE but selection of some players just made my mind wobbles around J
Below are the comparisons of few of the players selected in the team with the performances of those who could be selected if selectors have done their job sincerely.
Bilal Asif vs. Imad Wasim
Inzamam & co selected Bilal Asif as an all rounder in Pakistan team for upcoming series. Bilal Asif is a player with a mediocre record in first class cricket. Since making his debut way back in 2011 he only manage to represent even a first class team in 19 matches. Managing 449 runs in 26 innings with an average of fewer than 20 runs per innings, on the bowling front he took 38 first class wickets with an average of 38 runs per wicket. If we look at most recent performance on which he got selected than it can easily be an eye opener for selectors. During last first class season he played in 4 matches and scored 39 runs with taking 6 wickets which is not the performance on which you will select a player for representation in national team.
If we look at others at the first class cricket than Imad Wasim who is a regular in limited over formats for Pakistan have a much better first class record than Bilal Asif. Imad has scored 3500+ runs with an average of 40 runs per innings and also taken 138 wickets at 30 runs apiece.
Shan Masood vs. Fakhar Zaman
Another spot which receives great criticism was of opener Shan Masood. Shan has been provided many chances in past but he didn’t make the most of the given chances. Managed only 462 runs in 20 innings at top level with a batting average of under 24 runs per innings. If we look at his performance in last season than it has nothing much to write about. In 9 first class matches he scored 462 runs with an average of 36 runs per innings. On the other hand Fakhar Zaman who most people think can only play limited overs cricket with license to kill approach has had a much more productive season than Shan Masood. He averaged 51 runs per innings in 8 matches with scoring 663 runs in 4 day competition.
If selectors thinks that Imad and Fakhar are more suited to limited overs cricket than they must look out at the examples of Adam Gilchrist, David Warner, Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag who all were rated as a limited over specialist in early stages of their career but they all prove their worth when given a chance in longer format of the game.
Haris Sohail vs Fawad Alam
Selectors have shown faith in Haris Sohail who was sidelined because of a career threatening injury nearly 3 years ago. Haris last played first class cricket in 2013-14 seasons in Pakistan Domestic cricket and became automatic choice for selection after 3 years. During the period when Haris was nursing his injury; one man Fawad Alam was scoring heaps of runs in domestic cricket but somehow selectors didn’t have the sight to see the mountains of runs gathered by Fawad Alam.
Haris was not in the test when his career got halted by an injury. Before getting injured in 2013-14 season Haris has scored 156 runs in 4 matches for domestic team with an average of under 40 runs per innings, if the selection criteria is based on the performance of 2013-14 season than Fawad Alam has the more superior credentials under his belt. He scored 658 runs with an average of shade under 55 runs per innings but all went in vain as selectors only remember performance of Haris Sohail.
Wahab Riaz vs Junaid Khan
On the last slot selectors opted for Wahab Riaz whose performance in recent times is not much to talk about. Selectors could replace Junaid Khan with Wahab Riaz but they didn’t do so. Junaid Khan showed in Champions Trophy that he is finding his bowling mojo back with his pace and swing. Junaid’s overall record is much better than Wahab. As compared to Wahab’s 2 five wickets haul in test cricket Junaid has taken 5 wickets in an innings five times in 21 test matches as compared to Wahab’s 25 test matches.
When you are looking to build a team on youngsters than 27 year old Junaid Khan is a much better option than 32 year old Wahab Riaz, whose run leaking ability can be a problem at times. There is another fellow Sadaf Hussian who has been performing since a decade now but failed to catch the eyes of the national selector. He has taken more than 300 first class wickets with an astonishing bowling average of almost 18 runs per wicket. He has been considered as one the most successful bowlers at Pakistan’s domestic circuit but still waiting for his chance at international level.
Inzamam ul Haq’s appointment as a chief selector had made many cricket fans to think that now justice will prevail in PCB selection committee, but somehow few deserving cricketers are still waiting for their turn.