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Pak vs SA: After stellar knock, Fakhar Zaman earns place in Pakistan’s T20 squad

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Pakistani batsman Fakhar Zaman celebrates after scoring a ton. Photograph: AFP

Pakistani left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman has earned a spot within the inexperienced shirts’ T20 squad for the sequence in opposition to South Africa, as per a report in The Information.  

The report states head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and skipper Babar Azam have expressed their confidence within the Pakistani batsman following his stellar knock in opposition to South Africa within the second ODI just a few days in the past. 

The News has learnt that a request to retain him for the T20 series was sent to the selection committee and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) back home considering Fakhar’s form and utility for the T20 series,” reads the report. 

Zaman, as per a supply, will keep again for the four-match T20 sequence in opposition to South Africa and also will be retained for the Zimbabwe tour. 

“Head coach Misbah and captain Babar want to retain him for the seven T20 matches that Pakistan are to play during the African Safari. Following his heroics at the Wanderers that saw Fakhar playing one of the finest innings in the ODI cricket, questions were raised as to why such a powerful hitter was sidelined from the T20 series,” said the source. 

“Even Misbah and Babar spoke highly of him and his utility for the forthcoming series that will serve as a stepping stone in team’s preparations for the T20 World Cup,” the supply added.

Zaman astounded all when he smashed 10 sixes and 18 fours to South Africa’s tempo battery as Pakistan appeared to chase the Proteas’ 342-run goal. At one level, Pakistan was out of the match earlier than Zaman’s innings breathed life again into the crew. 

“Besides retaining Fakhar for the seven-match series, both the captain and the head coach are interested in keeping him on top of their priority list for the T20 World Cup to be held in India in October-November,” a crew official in South Africa mentioned.

Fakhar took the battle single-handedly to the South Africa bowlers, scoring over 60% of the whole runs by Pakistan in the course of the second ODI.

“Even in South Africa, it was surprising for everyone that a batsman like Fakhar was not made part of the team for the T20 series. South Africa coach Mark Boucher and all other South Africa team members even went on to congratulate Fakhar for his outstanding innings,” the official added.

Misbah and Azam are of the view that an aggressive batsman like Zaman shall be good for the crew within the upcoming T20 sequence and the World Cup. 

“We now have acquired a go-ahead to retain Fakhar for the back-to-back T20 sequence. His position within the T20 matches shall be crucial for the crew,” said the source. 

The official announcement to make Fakhar part of the T20 squad is expected to be made soon.

Meanwhile, injured Shadab Khan who has failed miserably as a bowler and batsman during the ongoing series is expected to return home along with Imam-ul-Haq.

“It would be useless to retain injured player in the team and take him to Zimbabwe knowing that he cannot play anymore during the tour. The decision to send Shadab back home will be made soon,” added the supply. 

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