Pakistan team performed brilliantly in the T20 and ODI series against West Indies. In both formats, the team completely outplayed the Windies and managed to win all the matches. Even though, a lot of people claim that the country is suffering from a shortage of talent, the contribution of the youngsters was one of the major factors that led to such a convincing victory. Going into the test series, the men in green have a huge psychological advantage over the West Indies and with Younis Khan also ruled out of the first test in order to recover from dengue fever, now is the best time for the test squad to try some new faces. So let’s take a look at five players that were part of the ODI squad who are ready to make their test debut.
- Babar Azam
Flair, technical prowess and unbelievable talent are the words that one would use to describe Babar Azam. Ever since his brilliant performance in the 2009 under-19 world cup where he managed to score 298 runs at an average of 59.60, the batting sensation has been labeled as a potential prospect. Sure enough, the 21 year old didn’t disappoint. Since his debut Babar Azam has managed to score 886 runs in 18 innings at an average of 52.11. His biggest performance undoubtedly, came in the ODI series against West Indies where he single-handedly anchored Pakistan’s series victory by scoring 360 runs and breaking the record of scoring the highest number of runs in a 3 match ODI series. Azam is currently in red-hot form and if given the chance he can prove his mettle in the longest format of the game.
- Imad Wasim
In a very short span of time, Imad Wasim has become one of the most important members of the limited overs squad. The biggest advantage of Wasim is that he is an all-round cricketer who is a capable batsman and a strike bowler. Unlike conventional spinners, Wasim relies more on his drift and pace to deceive the batsmen rather than spin and the fact that he is extremely accurate makes him even more difficult to pick. With a first class batting average of almost 42 and a bowling average of 31, Wasim can easily fill in the gap of a number 6 batsman and the fifth bowler in the current test squad. If his recent T20 and ODI performance is anything to go by, then we can expect big things from Imad Wasim in the longer format.
- Mohammed Nawaz
Like Imad Wasim, Mohammed Nawaz is also a promising all-rounder in the making. Unlike Imad Wasim though, Nawaz is a conventional spinner who relies on his variation and turn to trouble the batsmen. While he hasn’t yet proven himself with the bat, Nawaz has quite an impressive record when it comes to bowling. He has picked up 44 first class wickets at an average of just 24 and was also among the top 5 wicket takers of the PSL 2016. Nawaz can also fill the gap of a number six batsman and a fifth bowler in the test squad. Moreover, the fact that the conditions in the UAE will favor his bowling makes him an even bigger asset for the test side. Another good sign for the team is that Nawaz has been in good form and was also the highest wicket taker of the ODI series thus, now might be the right time to capitalize on his momentum.
- Hassan Ali
A lot of people were surprised when Hassan Ali was selected in the squad for the England tour, however; it is safe to say that the fast bowler has done enough to prove himself. He was the highest wicket-taker among the Pakistani bowlers, picking up 8 wickets in the series against England plus he also picked up 4 wickets in 3 matches against West Indies. While Hassan Ali isn’t very quick he can be a bit slippery to handle, plus he relies more on his variations to trouble the batsmen. Ali has also got the ability to generate bounce off the wicket. On top of all these qualities, Hassan Ali has an outstanding first class record. In 23 matches, the young fast bowler has managed to pick up 106 wickets at an average of 24.52. While the test squad already has a formidable bowling line up, Hassan Ali can always be used to give rest to the likes of Mohammed Amir and Sohail Khan.
- Sharjeel Khan
Commenters will be quick to point out that Sharjeel doesn’t have the technique or temperament required to be successful in test cricket. While it is partly true, there are examples of a lot of players who were tagged as limited overs cricketers, however, when given the opportunity they proved their worth in test cricket too. Players like Virender Sehwag, David Warner, and Brendon McCullum are all players who aren’t technically very gifted, yet they are all very successful in the longer format. Similarly, if given the opportunity, Sharjeel Khan can also achieve success in the longer format. Sharjeel’s biggest advantage is his fearless attitude, on top of that he also supports a decent first class record; in 73 matches the left-hand batsman has scored 5724 runs at an average of 36.89 with 11 centuries and 19 fifties. If Sharjeel is given an opportunity in the batting friendly UAE conditions, then he can cement his position as an opener in the side.
Which of these players do you want to see in test cricket? Leave your opinion in the comments below and as always give your valuable feedback and keep following on our social media channels to stay up to date with our latest articles.