Babar Azam wants Sarfaraz to be in playing XI in upcomming Pak vs SA series

LAHORE: Pakistan captain Babar Azam wants to include former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed in the playing XI squad against South Africa.

Pakistan will play three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches from 2-7 April and four T20Is from 10-16 April in Centurion and Johannesburg.

Earlier the team management was mulling playing both wicket-keepers, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan, in the playing XI.

Sources said that the management was thinking over a plan, according to which Sarfaraz would play at number five in the batting order and perform the role of the wicketkeeper in the team while Muhammad Rizwan would bat at number four.

Sources say that skipper Babar Azam is also in favour of including Sarfaraz in the playing XI. As far as the team’s strategy is concerned, sources said the team management had decided to play ODI cricket at par with ‘modern’ standards.

“The Pakistan team management is eyeing a score of 325 to 350 runs,” said sources. “[The management has decided] that there is no option left but to adopt the modern practices of playing cricket before World Cup 2023.”

In order to do so, the team management is busy formulating a combination that will ensure the Men in Green score big in ODI matches.

Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, Danish Aziz and Asif Ali are likely to be included in the playing XI probables for the South Africa series.

“A consensus has developed [within the management] of playing aggressive batsmen in the middle order and all-rounders at the lower order,” said a source.

The management is mulling over players Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain in the final playing XI.

“Hassan Ali’s inclusion in the playing XI is difficult owing to him not being completely fit,” said the source.