Junaid Khan names his all-time Pakistan T20I XI, includes Babar Azam
In his eleven, Khan also picked Saeed Anwar, who didn't play a single T20 match in his career.
Updated - May 16, 2021 1:16 pm
Over the years, many great players have represented Pakistan in international cricket and guided the side to numerous memorable victories. From Zaheer Abbas to Wasim Akram, several players from the nation left the world in awe with their batting and bowling prowess.
Hence, the Men in Green have all the three major ICC titles under their belt. With the list of Pakistan cricket icons long, picking an all-time XI won’t be a bread and butter task. Recently, veteran pacer Pakistan Junaid Khan was asked to do the same but for just T20s.
The 31-year-old paceman picked his best all-time Pakistan T20 XI in interaction with Cricket Pakistan and made a formidable team. Starting with the opening slot, Khan picked current Pakistan captain Babar Azam who averages over 47 in T20Is alongside former opener Saeed Anwar.
Although Anwar didn’t play T20 cricket, Khan believes that his aggressive batting style would have made him suitable for the format. All-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik were slotted in third and fourth place respectively.
Both these players have over 2000 T20I runs under their belt, and their bowling has also come in handy at times. Junaid gave the wicket-keeping responsibilities to Mohammad Rizwan, who has been absolutely phenomenal this year. Following him was Umar Akmal, who guided Pakistan to several wins in this format.
Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar included in Junaid Khan’s all-time Pakistan T20 XI
Shahid Afridi occupies the number seven slot as the all-rounder was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s T20I side during his international career. Junaid picked off-spinner Saeed Ajmal in his side as the latter bamboozled many batting line-ups with his mysterious bowling.
The pace attack comprised Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar and Sohail Tanvir, who all don’t need any introduction. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s T20I team has been on a roll lately, and their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 are on the right track.
Under Babar Azam’s leadership, Pakistan has won seven of their 10 T20Is this year and they would like to continue their winning run. Junaid last played for Pakistan back in May 2019, and it would be interesting to see if he makes a comeback in the national side or not.
Here’s the XI
Babar Azam, Saeed Anwar, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir