Duo were not picked in the 15-member squad
Former Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has said that opener Fakhar Zaman and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik should have been part of the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad.
They were not named in the 15-member squad announced on Monday, which saw backlash from former cricketers and on social media.
“In my opinion, Fakhar Zaman should have been in the squad,” said Azhar while speaking to Cricket Pakistan. “In the middle-order, Shoaib Malik should have been selected as he has been performing really well in the recent past.”
According to him, the 39-year-old performed well in this year’s Pakistan Super League and other T20 competitions across the world. “You definitely need experience in this sort of situation.”
The former all-rounder was also pleased to see the return of middle-order batsmen Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah.
“The good thing is that they have recalled Asif [Ali] and Khushdil [Shah] as it will bring impact players in the middle-order,” he said.
He also backed Pakistan to qualify for the knockout stage of the event as conditions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will suit the team.
“I think our squad has the ability to qualify for the semi-final and even win it. Also, momentum will be key if we want to do well in the event,” he said.
Speaking about the mega-match against arch-rivals India, Mahmood said that the Virat-Kohli-led unit has an edge over Pakistan. “It will be a tough match as India are playing really well and they will have an edge over Pakistan,” he said. “However, if the Pakistan team clicks, I’m sure we can beat India.”