Misbah-ul-Haq unhappy with Sharjeel Khan's inclusion in Pakistan squad despite weighing 112 kg
However, chief selector Mohammad Wasim isn’t on the same page as the head coach as he believes that fitness can’t be the only criteria for selection.
Pakistan’s opening batsman Sharjeel Khan had a tremendous run in the 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) before the tournament was abruptly postponed owing to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases among the players and support staff. Sharjeel was the third-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 200 runs to his name in 5 games at an astonishing strike-rate of 170.94.
He was the only player to score a hundred before the tournament came to a halt. The 31-year-old got rewarded for his stunning performance in the T20 extravaganza as he earned a call-up to Pakistan’s T20I squad for the series against South Africa. However, Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq isn’t happy with Sharjeel’s inclusion in the squad as he believes that the batsman is not fit enough considering he weighs 112 kilos.
According to the reports in Cricket Pakistan, both the head coach and skipper Babar Azam find Sharjeel unfit and believe that his selection will pave the way for more ‘unfit’ players in the Pakistan team. Thus, the opener is unlikely to find a place in teams playing XI in any of the games.
Fitness isn’t the only criteria for selection, says Chief selector
However, chief selector Mohammad Wasim isn’t on the same page as the head coach and skipper as he believes that fitness can’t be the only criteria and the players can be given a chance if they are performing consistently both with the bat and the ball.
“Fitness isn’t the only criteria for selection – at the end of the day, a player has to play cricket. We are already working on reviewing the fitness testing levels and will introduce a new strategy [to gauge fitness]. I didn’t comment on Sharjeel’s fitness earlier as his performances [last year] were patchy, but now we have to look at anyone who performs, whatever the fitness they have.
“Yes, I understand there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on his fitness and he will improve with time, but at the moment he can win us big games with his bat,” Mohammad Wasim said in a press conference.