Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has backed Sharjeel Khan to respond to his critics by putting up a good show with the bat in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa. Khan, the hard-hitting left-handed batsman will return to the national side having played his last international match in 2017.
According to Akhtar, Sharjeel should play his natural game and shouldn’t let the pressure get the better out of him. The former cricketer advised him to show his guts when he goes to the field the next time for Pakistan. Khan was banned for two and a half years after he was found guilty of spot-fixing allegations in 2017.
However, in the 2021 season of PSL, he put on 200 runs from five innings with a century and a strike rate of 170 to forge his way back into the national team. ”Show your guts. Be a man and go on the field, it is time for payback. Sharjeel has all the shots in the book. All he needs is confidence. Don’t let the pressure get the better of you. He should allow himself to display his talent,” Akhtar said during an interaction with PTV Sports.
Akhtar hopes for Sharjeel to solve Pakistan’s major problems
There have been also some experts suggesting that Sharjeel’s fitness could be an issue. Akhtar also pointed out that if he can work on the fitness aspect, then he can solve Pakistan’s problem. The former pacer was of an opinion that if Sharjeel can become a reliable opener, it will reduce some pressure from captain Babar Azam’s shoulders.
”If he goes on to become a fitter player and a reliable opener, it will solve half of Pakistan team’s problems. Currently, there is a lot of load on Babar Azam,” Akhtar said. With Sharjeel coming into the T20I side, Pakistan would have a set of players who can be destructive at the top order.
The Pakistan team is travelling to South Africa for a three-match ODI series along with four T20I matches. The tour will start with the ODI matches on April 2, with the first T20I scheduled to be played on April 10. The T20I series will provide an opportunity for both teams to prepare for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in India later this year.
Source: Cricket News – CricTracker