Karachi: Pakistan cricket team’s chief selector Haroon Rasheed is confident that with a new talent pool it will be possible to create a specialist T20 squad which will benefit them in near future. “Yes, we are looking at it (creating a pool) as already we opted to repose confidence in players, who excel in T20 format during the two match series against Zimbabwe,” the former Test batsman told PTI.
He pointed out that since the selectors were looking at designating a specialist T20 squad which is why they had opted not to field some players, who did well in the T20 series in the ODI matches against Zimbabwe. “We are looking for a combination of youth and experience a blend of players, who are sharp on the field can bat and bowl and understand the requirements of this format,” the chief selector said. “We want players who are very good in this format to keep their focus for the time being on T20 cricket. That is the reason why we didn’t select players like Mukhtar Ahmed, Noman Anwar or Bilawal Bhatti for the ODI series,” he added. Haroon admitted they were concerned with the form of T20 captain Shahid Afridi and he needed to show more consistency in every area of the game. “He is a very experienced captain and player and we expect more from him as the World T20 is very important for us. Hopefully he will raise his overall game.” Haroon was candid about not selecting star batsman Umar Akmal in the ODI squad stating the young batsman needed to show more dedication. “We want players, who can carry the burden of finishing games. Right now, we see Umar as perfect for T20 cricket but he needs to focus more on his game to break into the ODI or Test squads.”
Umar and Ahmed Shehzad were both dropped from the squad for the recent tour of Bangladesh after head coach Waqar Younis submitted a report to the board suggesting both needed to improve their attitude and show more responsibility. Haroon, 62, cited the coming ODI matches are paramount for Pakistan but at same time the selectors have also tried to give a chance to all those players who have done well in domestic cricket. “We want to give a fair chance to such players (who have done well in domestic cricket) and see where they go. But the good thing is that we have identified some new talent for limited overs cricket and things will only improve specially in ODI,” Haroon concluded.