"In League Of Virat Kohli, Babar Azam": Pakistan Great Lavishes Ultimate Praise On Young Star
The former Pakistan star feels that the youngster has the potential to reach the level of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
Pakistan national men's selection committee on Wednesday named the squads for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan and the Asia Cup 2023. The announcement came as a surprise for many fans as Shan Masood and Ihsanullah have been dropped from the side. Apart from them, another exclusion that left everyone utterly shocked was of batter Saud Shakeel, who has not been included in the Asia Cup squad. Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal came in support of Shakeel and stated that the 27-year-old batter has the potential to reach the level of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
“I am looking at Saud from a different angle. I am considering him in the league, which includes big names like Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, and other five to six players,” Akmal was quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“He[Saud] should be reaching near these players in the next three to four years – given the performance he has showcased, particularly when the circumstances were difficult. So, this is a good sign for Pakistan cricket when any batsman displays excellent batting performance, that too at an early age in early Test cricket," he added.
In the recent Test series against Sri Lanka, Shakeel played a knock of 57 runs in the second match and created a new world record in the longest format of the game.
The 27-year-old batter, who has played only seven matches so far, brought up his sixth Test half-century. Apart from this, he has smashed a century and a double hundred and became the first batter in history to register fifty-plus scores in each of his first seven Tests.
Talking about Pakistan's squad, PCB stated, "The team will assemble in Hambantota on 18 August with the players in Pakistan departing on 17 August. The players in Pakistan will hold a three-day camp on 14, 15 and 16 August at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore."
Pakistan Squad of Afghanistan ODIs, Asia Cup 2023
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir and Saud Shakeel (only for Afghanistan series), Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz and Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi
(With PTI Inputs)