Pakistan has always aroused the interest of the cricketing fraternity. Their high-quality play style won admirers around the world. On the other side, their breath-taking fast-bowlers would turn a match on its head in no time. No wonder, Pakistan national cricket team selection creates quite a global buzz.
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Babar Azam: the prolific batsman who creates a huge impact
This Lahore-born 26-year-old is an ICC top 5 test batsman. He is also a top-order player who captains the one-day team. Azam started playing cricket at a very young and is currently on par with Virat Kohli as per Pakistani experts. The right-hander is also the second quickest to score 5 ODI hundreds.
He has outstanding T20 and ODI averages of 50.94 and 55.94, respectively, and the top 5 ranked players in these two formats. This dependable player had a fast and meteoric rise to the top of the ranking tables. He is already showing glimpses of being a great player.
Fakhar Zaman: stylish south-paw in the Pakistan national cricket team
This left-handed batsman is from the North-West Frontier Province. At the age of 16, he relocated to Karachi and joined the navy. The fantastic stroke maker is a crowd favorite due to his hard-hitting abilities. He excelled at the domestic level and even won the Pakistan Cup in 2016, scoring 114 runs.
His technique is well suitable for the shorter forms of the game. Zaman is the first Pakistani to score a double century in ODIs. He is also the fastest to reach 1000 runs in this format. He also scored a century in the Champions Trophy final of 2017. This knock helped his team beat the arch-rival opponent, India.
Mohammed Hafeez: versatile all-rounder with a free-flowing style
This 40-year-old veteran is an elegant cutter and puller of the ball. He started his test career with 50 and 100. But since then, Hafeez’s career has seen lots of ups and downs along the way. However, he performed strongly on the domestic circuit to win over the selector’s approval.
Yes, his averages are not very high, and consistency is a big issue. But this experienced player has made many comebacks to the national team. In 2019, he shifted gears and dropped down to the middle order. He is a decent opener and a handy right-arm off-spin bowler for the team if you overlook that.
Shan Masood: elegant Kuwaiti-born Pakistan national cricket team player with a level head
Shan Masood Khan is a left-handed opening batsman. This 31-year-old is also an efficient right-arm medium-fast bowler, who made it to the Pakistan national cricket team due to first-class cricketing efforts. His List A average stands at an astonishing 54.24. As of now, he has 23 tests and 5 ODIs on his card.
This perennial underdog has, however, struggled on the big stage. He is well-known for a fighting score of 75 against a powerful South African attack. He also managed to score a ton against Sri Lanka in 2015. Ever since he appeared in and out of the team due to technical and mental weaknesses, but managed to complete 1000 runs landmark in test cricket in December 2019.
Haider Ali: valiant and youthful power-hitter
This 20-year-old plays in the middle-order for his team. He is a next-generation player who is a fantastic T20 star. He showcased his talent in very few matches, but his first-class average of 46.57 cannot go unnoticed. Also, his strike rates in the shorter formats stand around 130 and 151. The courageous youngster holds a lot of promise for the future of Pakistani cricket.
Abid Ali: technical opener in the Pakistan national cricket team
The 33-year-old Ali is a late bloomer with an excellent track record. Ali notched up over 10,000 runs in all formats of domestic cricket. He is technically the correct batsman with exquisite footwork. The experts consider him as a reliable opener as he is outstanding at anchoring test innings. His average of 57.5 speaks for itself. Abid Ali is also notable for debut tons in both ODIs and tests. He is making a strong comeback as Pakistan is revamping its cricketing culture.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: the not so cool ex-captain of Pakistan national cricket team
Ahmed, the 41-year-old veteran, is famous for winning the under-19 world cup. The wicket-keeper batsman waited, while Kamran Akmal was going strong. He made his mark in the 2015 world cup with six dismissals. Sarfaraz became a surprise captain but got into trouble with the opponents. In 2019, he got penalized for making racial slurs. He, however, took Pakistan to the top spot in the T20 rankings. But by October 2019, he fell out of favor and got sacked from captaincy.
Mohammed Amir: rhythmic and skillful quickie
Amir is a Wasim Akram discovery who made his debut at the age of 17. He made it to the Pakistan national cricket team as a left-arm fast bowler. His creative variations and unplayable swing was a sight to reckon with for all. The talented speedster helped his team win the T20 world cup in 2009.
But spot-fixing and deliberate no-balls got him a 5-year ban. Since his return, he is a perfect ODI and T20 bowler. But his test performances were not really up to the mark despite his ability to bowl deadly Yorkers at will. He is still a top-class performer but without the youthful glow and aura.
Wahab Riaz: the striking speedster from Lahore
On his day, he could bowl extremely fast, notching up speeds of 150 km/hr. But otherwise, the 35-year-old from Lahore is mellow and disciplined. Although he started in 2001, international cricket beckoned him only in 2008. His toe-crushing Yorker to dismiss Yuvraj Singh is still fondly in the memory of his fans. Wahab is also a courageous batsman who fights very hard for the team.
Usman Qadir: upcoming bowler in the Pakistan national cricket team
Usman, the 27-year-old son of Abdul Qadir, is also a wrist spinner. He was a disappointment in the domestic cricketing circuit. Usman moved to Western Australia and tried his luck in the Big Bash down under. In 2020, he returned to the Pakistani T20 squad. He has raw talent and a great prospect.