Pakistan captain Babar Azam has refused chairman of selectors Muhammad Wasim’s request to accommodate specialist opener Shan Masood in the middle-order for the West Indies series as the differences between the two is now out in public domain. Wasim in an interview to a YouTube channel had said that he was in touch with Shan, who is scoring heavily in English county championship as well as Vitality T20 blast matches.
Wasim had discussed with Shan about the possibility of trying him out in the middle-order in white ball formats as competition for the opening slots was very tight in the Pakistan team.
“I have told Shan that he should now try to bat in the middle-order so that we have evidence he can make the change for us,” Wasim said.
Interestingly, when the media spoke to Babar, he made it clear there was no possibility of this happening.
Babar insisted that including Shan in the side as a middle-order batter would be unfair with the left-hander and also with the other players who are already in contention for middle-order slots.
“Shan Masood bats at the top of the order and he has not batted lower down the order. I think it would be unfair with Shan to play him at Nos 5 or 6. We have an eye on him and he will be considered taking the balance of the side into account,” Babar said in Lahore.
The 32-year-old Shan was part of the Pakistan Test squad for the recent home series against Australia but didn’t get a chance to play but his form in white ball formats has also been impressive in domestic cricket, PSL and now in England.
There have also been speculations about Wasim and head coach Saqlain Mushtaq surrendering to Babar and other senior players when they refused to take a break from the ODI series against the West Indies.
Although Wasim denies this, word is that Babar didn’t agree with selectors and coaches on taking rest while allowing fringe players a go against the West Indies.
Babar also shot down suggestions while talking to the media about giving wicketkeper-batsman Muhammad Haris, a crack against the Windies in the three ODIs in Multan next week.
“It is too early to give him a chance. Rizwan has not been performing as expected in ODIs but he is still adding value at his position. Our combination is balanced and I have full faith in Rizwan as I will always have his back,” Babar said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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