ABU DHABI - Acting PCB chairman, Najam Sethi on Tuesday lauded Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, saying he has silenced his critics by scoring two centuries in the ongoing one-day series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.
"I think Hafeez has silenced his critics with his centuries and we are now considering including him in the team for the Test series as well," Sethi told reporters. Hafeez has scored centuries in the first and third ODIs which Pakistan won and the flow of runs has brought some respite for him after being the constant target of criticism by former players and critics.
Hafeez was even dropped for the last Test series against South Africa in the UAE because of his poor batting form. "He has done extremely well and shown his class and he can be in the Test side.
We are also looking at including two to three new faces in the test squad," Sethi said. Pakistan plays three Tests against the Lankans from December 31st which will be their last Test challenge before they play Australia in the UAE in October 2014.
Sethi said the youngsters in the team had done well which is why it was felt that the flow of new blood into the team was a good move. "We will include some two to three new faces in the test side when it is announced," he added. Interestingly, in the T20 and ODI series as well the Pakistani selectors have shown lot of confidence in new and young players notably Bilawal Bhatti, Anwar Ali, Usman Khan and Sharjeel Khan.
Sethi said that Pakistan's recent good form was because of the confidence they gained from beating South Africa in their backyard in the one-day series last month. "It is not easy beating South Africa in South Africa and that win gave our team lot of confidence and self belief," Sethi said.
The acting chairman has also been the subject of ridicule and criticism for his "victory dance" during the third one-dayer against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Pakistan's former Test captain, M Yousuf saw the victory dance by Sethi as an attempt to save his seat. "I think more than Pakistan's good performance he was celebrating the fact that since the team had done well his seat will remain," Yousuf said. Other players also felt it was unbecoming of a board chairman to behave publicly the way Sethi had done in Sharjah.