ICL: Indian Cricket League

Selectors want Nasir Jamshed tried as opening batsman


The national selectors are unhappy over Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik’s decision not to open with promising batter Nasir Jamshed in the Pentangular Cup match between Punjab and NWFP being played in Lahore.

According to well-placed sources, the selectors were certain that Malik, who is leading Punjab in the Pentangular Cup, will opt to open with the left-handed Nasir who made an impressive One-day International debut in the home series against Zimbabwe last month.

But Malik instead fielded discarded Test opener Mohammad Hafeez as an opener alongside Salman Butt in the match against NWFP.

Nasir Jamshed was sent in at number three, a position where Pakistan do not really need any batsman as it is occupied one of their most prolific batters — Younis Khan — both in Tests and one-dayers. He made 16 before falling to experienced medium-pacer Fazl-e-Akbar.

Nasir, who scored a couple of fifties against the visiting Zimbabweans and finished as one of the most prolific batsmen in the series that Pakistan won 5-0, was singled out by the selectors as a player who can help Pakistan iron one of their perennial problems that arises from the dearth of quality openers.

The Lahore-based youngster also showed his class in a warm-up game against Zimbabwe in Karachi by scoring 182 to help the Patron’s XI beat the tourists.

Pakistan have been unable to perform consistently at the international level both in Tests and one-dayers in recent years and it is widely believed that one of the reasons behind that is they have failed to produce quality openers since the exit of top performers like Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail.

The reason behind the introduction of three opening batsmen — Nasir, Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif — in the ODI series against Zimbabwe was to try out newcomers in what is regarded as the most difficult batting position.

The trio was generally impressive in the series and it was decided that they would get more international assignments later this year. But before that, they were supposed to pass one more test — the Pentangular Cup.

The selectors were looking forward to monitoring the performance of these openers and a few others in the first-class tournament.

“The selection committee was unpleasantly surprised when Nasir didn’t open the innings for Punjab the other day,” said a source.

“Nasir is all set to stretch his international career in the propose ODI series against India next month, which is why the selectors want him to be in full flow for the important assignment,” the source pointed out.

Source:Cricket News

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