Ahmed Shehzad’s Pakistan XI: No Babar Azam or Shaheen Afridi

Ahmed Shehzad’s Pakistan XI: No Babar Azam or Shaheen Afridi

Ahmed Shehzad, a former cricketer, recently revealed his ultimate Pakistan XI during a local channel show, focusing solely on legends from previous generations as current players failed to find a place in Shehzad’s line-up.

Pakistan’s opening duo

Shehzad chose Saeed Anwar and Majid Khan as his opening pair. He praised Anwar’s versatility across the ground and admired Majid’s stylish batting and numerous records from his era.

“Saeed Anwar was a universally loved player who could dominate from any position on the field. I’ve watched many videos of Majid Khan, and his batting style was elegant with numerous records from his era,” Shehzad was quoted as saying by Pakistan Today.

Middle-Order Maestros

In the middle order, Shehzad included Zaheer Abbas, known for his aesthetic cover drives and dominance over bowlers. Younis Khan, recognized for his diligent work ethic and impressive stats, was a must-have for Shehzad. Javed Miandad, a childhood hero of Shehzad’s, found his place due to his undeniable impact. Shahid Afridi‘s dual ability to smash sixes and bowl spin made him a challenging but deserving choice. Moin Khan was selected as the wicket-keeper for his neat takes behind the stumps.

“He [Zaheer Abbas] was pleasing to the eye, the cover drive was great and used to dominate the bowlers. Younis Khan was a hard-working player with very good stats. Having him on any side is icing on the cake. I know I have placed him below but how can I miss Javed Miandad? Growing up watching him play, I had to adjust to him somewhere in my team. Shahid Afridi is the batter who can hit sixes and bowl spin. It was a tough call but for the wicketkeeper spot, Moin Khan used to take neat takes with the ball going smoothly in his gloves,” the 32-year-old added.

Also READ: Wasim Akram names his choice for Pakistan’s captaincy after their T20 World Cup 2024 exit

Bowling powerhouses

Shehzad’s bowling lineup featured Saqlain Mushtaq, credited as the ‘Doosra’ pioneer, for his match-winning performances and impressive statistics. Wasim Akram, an iconic figure in cricket, was an automatic selection due to his legendary achievements. Mohammad Zahid, known for his pace and skill, added depth to the pace attack alongside Shoaib Akhtar, one of the fastest bowlers in cricket history.

“Saqlain has won us matches and has great stats. It’s impossible if someone is playing in their childhood and is not following Wasim Akram and his achievements. Zahid played very little cricket and I remember once Brian Lara said, he is the fastest I have ever played,” Shehzad concluded.

No place for Babar Azam

Shehzad’s decision to exclude current captain Babar Azam from his ultimate Pakistan XI and other high-profile platers like Shaheen Afridi shows his doubt on the potential on the current crop, especially given Babar’s stature as one of Pakistan’s modern cricketing icons known for his consistent run-scoring and leadership qualities.

However, Pakistan faced an embarrassing defeat in the T20 World Cup 2024, exiting at the group stage. Throughout the tournament, Shehzad’s frustration over Babar’s captaincy has become increasingly apparent. Several media reports indicated tension between Shehzad and skipper Babar, with whom he had previously shared the field in age-group cricket.

Also READ: Who was the Einstein who made Babar Azam captain?’ : Shoaib Akhtar rips apart Pakistan skipper after abysmal T20 World Cup 2024 performance


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