Five cricketers who may change the future of Pakistani cricket
After the dismal performance of our team in the World Cup 2015 and the recent Bangladesh series, people are beginning to perceive that Pakistani cricket is running out of talent due to the flaws in our domestic system. However, even after such flaws, we possess some extraordinary cricketers who haven’t made their debuts yet or still have to show their potential.
The best part about these youngsters is that they are all below 25-years of age. They possess great talent and hold unique match-winning abilities. Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Asghar, Ziaul Haq, and Muhammad Rizwan are some of the fantastic young cricketers in Team Pakistan who have the power to stun the world.
According to my observation, and with respect to their talents, here are the top five young cricketers in our team who need to be highlighted:
He is one of the brightest young prospects Pakistan has ever produced. He captained the under-19 team and led Pakistan to the under-19 finals in the 2014 World Cup held in UAE.
At the age of 19, Aslam boasts of an excellent average of 49.50 in A-list cricket, better than most of the batsmen in the current squad. Aslam averaged 100-plus in his last ODI tournament, which was held two months prior to the World Cup. Aslam also scored a century in the finals against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s domestic team, which had star bowlers like Junaid Khan and Yasir Shah.
However, he needs to work on his first-class performance where, so far, he has managed to gain an average of 35 only. He was selected in the ODI and Test squad of Pakistan for the Bangladesh series, where Pakistan got whitewashed. Even though he made 45 runs on 50 balls in his debut ODI match, he couldn’t do much in Tests and got out soon after.
Spectators should keep their eyes open for future-stellar performances by this young lad.
Gohar has a promising bowling average of 21.27, 20.77 and 17.13 in first-class, A-list and T20 cricket respectively. Twenty-year old Gohar has a bright future in store for him and I view him as being a potential replacement of the dynamic Shahid Afridi.
Last year, his batting performance had a very crucial role to play in the under-19 World Cup. In fact, his match-winning knock against England was what took Pakistan from the semi-finals to the finals.
Azam hails from a cricket background and is cousins with the famous Akmal brothers. Azam has also captained Pakistan in the under-19 level, but his stint as a captain was not as successful as Aslam’s as Pakistan finished 8th in the U-19 World Cup 2012.
Besides being a good batsman, Babar also comes handy in the bowling department.
I can easily compare him to his talented cousin, Umar Akmal, but Azam definitely proves to be more sensible and rarely throws away his wicket.
This 20-year-old wicket-keeper-cum-batsman hails from Peshawar. He averages an impressive 40-plus in both first-class and A-list cricket.
He made 58 runs off 67 balls on his debut against Bangladesh during the series held last month.
He can definitely challenge Sarfaraz Ahmed’s place and would be a good addition to our fragile and unpredictable middle order.
He was an integral part of the K-P team that won the ODI held before the World Cup. Rizwan was successful in scoring a century in the finals of the Haier T20 Cup against their competitor, Balochistan.
Nineteen-year-old player Asghar comes from Hub, Balochistan. With an average of 20.80 in first-class, 18 in A-list and only 14 in T20 cricket, the selectors should place their bets on this remarkable bowler. He may be the next big thing in bowling after Saeed Ajmal.
He was the top wicket-taker in the Haier T20 Cup and had a wonderful bowling spell for his team, Rawalpindi Rams.
Unlike Ajmal, Asghar has a flawless bowling action which could be a great shake-up for the flimsy bowling line-up currently in place.
These five players have the potential to navigate Pakistan into a glorious phase of cricket. Let’s hope that they are given the chance to showcase their talents.
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