Tuesday Aug 11, 2020
Former cricketer Rashid Latif has pressed Pakistan's team management to include teenage batsman Haider Ali in the playing XI for the remainder of the England Tests, claiming that the 19-year-old is more than just a T20 hitter and needs to be groomed now.
After Pakistan's heartbreaking loss to England in the opening, the clamour for changes is picking pace, with experts disappointed with the experienced Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq's back-to-back failures.
Latif, in a video on his YouTube show Caught Behind, said that with Azhar and Shafiq on their last legs and in the twilight of their careers, it was imperative for Haider to be given exposure now or his growth as a cricketer would be stunted.
"Haider is missing from this team. His time to play is now and if he doesn’t play, you will waste one year of his career. We are waiting for Azhar and Asad to retire before including Haider but by then it will be too late," he said.
The former wicketkeeper-batsman said that Haider should not be pigeonhole as a T20 specialist on the basis of his PSL feats, adding that there was much more to the Attock-born than just white-ball cricket.
"Now that we have seen his performance in PSL, we will only look to play him in white-ball formats. I think he will play in T20Is against England but I believe it will be better to establish him as a Test player first. I firmly believe that Haider will become an excellent Test player and will eventually go on to cement his place in all formats," he said.
The second Test between Pakistan and England will commence in Southampton on August 13.