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Mudassar Nazar questions selection of two players in Pakistan Test team

Former Pakistan cricketer, Mudassar Nazar, has expressed concerns about the fitness of fast bowler Khurram Shahzad and the uncertainty surrounding the role of all-rounder Faheem Ashraf in the team during the current Test series against Australia.

In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Nazar highlighted Shahzad’s performance, stating that although the bowler did not exhibit poor skills, his fitness is not up to the standard required for Test cricket. 

“Khurram, although he did not bowl poorly, but the next day when he came in the morning, he was bowling at a speed of 120 km per hour, and his body language was not right either. He seemed quite tired. So, one thing is that his fitness is not up to the standard required for a Test bowler,” Nazar claimed.

He also raised concerns about Shahzad’s adaptability to varied pitch conditions, emphasizing that he excels when there’s grass on the pitch and the ball is moving. 

“He [Khurram] will need conditions where there is some grass on the pitch,” he added.

Shehzad felt discomfort in his left-side during the Perth Test and has been ruled out of the remaining Test matches against Australia.

Shifting the focus to all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, the former cricketer questioned the team’s strategy in persistently with him. He argued that the team needs clarity on Ashraf’s role.

“Another enigma is our all-rounder, Faheem Ashraf. I still haven’t figured out whether he plays as a batsman or as a bowler. This discussion has already taken place in the previous series that he is a batting all-rounder, focusing more on batting rather than bowling. Unfortunately, his bowling isn’t as effective, and the same happened in this match. Eventually, persistently giving him protection proved to be detrimental to the Pakistan team,” he concluded.

It is worth noting that the Pakistan team experienced a crushing defeat against Australia in the opening Test in Perth, with a significant margin of 360 runs. 

The hosts set a target of 450 runs, and subsequently, the visiting side was dismissed for a mere 89 runs.