Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has said that rookie Imran Butt is on his radar. The Asian powerhouse has struggled with its opening in recent times and Misbah feels the 23-year-old could be a solution to the problem.
Imran is currently on a roll in Pakistan’s domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy by scoring 934 runs in nine matches for Balochistan and that includes four centuries and three fifties. The Lahore-born right-handed batsman, who made his first-class debut in 2012 at 17, averages above 62.
Misbah, who took over from Mickey Arthur after Pakistan’s dismal performance at the World Cup in England, has been trying players to revive the fortunes but with little effect. They lost a T20I series at home to Sri Lanka by 0-3 and then lost to Australia 0-2 both in the T20I and Test series. The longer format was particularly disappointing as Azhar Ali’s men faced innings defeats in both games.
‘Had a lot of discussion about Imran’: Misbah-ul-Haq
“Imran Butt is a good player and we had a lot of discussion about him because we are also looking at players for the opening spot,” Misbah was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “In future, we will definitely look at where we can give him a chance and bring him in the team. We didn’t want to make too many changes, only where necessary.”
In October, Misbah had also hinted at bringing back another Butt — Salman — to the national team. Salman hasn’t played for Pakistan since he was banned for five years on charges of spot-fixing in England in 2010 but has revived hopes of making a national comeback with some good show with the bat over the past few years.
In the recent Test series in Australia, Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq came under criticism for failing in the match in Perth. He was mocked by the supporters for having scored fewer Test runs in his entire career (485) so far than that made by Australia opener David Warner in the two-match series against Pakistan (489).
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