LAHORE - Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq feels that there is a need of changes in the national team, which needs the services of Shoaib Malik, Shan Masood and Sharjeel Khan. 

Talking to media during an event in Lahore on Tuesday, Inzamam said that the performance of Pakistan team in the Asia Cup was not up to the mark especially against Sri Lanka. “It is a matter of concern that the middle order did not perform, which was the key reason behind the loss in the Asia Cup final. The conditions of the World Cup in Australia are also different, so keeping them in mind; the selectors should make changes in the national team. 

“I think Shoaib Malik, Shan Masood and Sharjeel Khan are the better choices for the upcoming World Cup, especially Shoaib Malik can play a key role in the middle order,” he added. It is to mention here that Shan Masood can be a choice especially for Australia pitches as if given proper chances, he can help the side resolve batting woes. Sharjeel Khan is also performing well in domestic circuit and his recent 60-ball century in the National T20 shows his form that can benefit the national team during the World Cup.

Inzamam said although there were more problems in the batting department while the bowlers performed better yet the weaknesses of the team couldn’t be ignored. “The bowlers though bowled well but they failed to stop runs in the death overs and conceded extra runs that created problems for the team. In batting, the middle order failed to deliver in crucial matches. There is a dire need to overcome these problems; otherwise, the team can suffer more.” 

The former chief selector also raised a question on Haider Ali, who kept on sitting on the bench. “I think Haider Ali should have been tried in the Asia Cup. When you have taken him with the squad, he should also be given a chance and if he could not perform, then others should come in his place.”

England, for the first time in 17 years, are set to visit Pakistan to play a bumper seven-match T20I series in September-October 2022. The series begins on September 20 in Karachi, where the two sides will play the first four games before the action heads to Lahore for the last three T20Is. The limited-overs series will be vital to both sides for their preparation ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in October-November. 

Inzamam termed the home series against England ‘a good opportunity’, saying, “We should get benefit from the England T20I series as it is ‘a good opportunity’ for us to complete the planning and preparation for the World Cup. The selectors should thoroughly watch the performances of players during the England series and then select cricketers suitable for Australian conditions as it will enhance our chances of doing well in the mega event.”