“His performance in Test cricket is outstanding, there is no doubt…” Pakistan Chief Selector On Sarfaraz Ahmed’s World Cup 2023 Chances

Pakistan Chief Selector Haroon Rasheed is reluctant to rule out former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed from the World Cup squad. With the “hybrid model” Asia Cup sanctioned by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), Pakistan will likely travel to India for the World Cup.

The Asia Cup, co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is a crucial preparation tournament for teams vying to win the title. Sri Lanka, the defending champions, claimed victory in the last edition. As selectors deliberate on squad composition, Rasheed has shed light on Sarfaraz Ahmed’s chances and the importance of the Asia Cup in identifying players suited for Indian conditions.

Haroon Rasheed acknowledged Sarfaraz Ahmed’s exceptional performance in Test cricket, evident by his inclusion in the Test squad. However, the chief selector emphasized that evaluating his performance in limited-overs formats requires more consideration. While Sarfaraz has excelled in Test matches, his form and contributions in shorter formats remain scrutinized.

“As far as Sarfaraz Ahmed is concerned, he has given outstanding performance in Test cricket, there is no doubt about it, and that’s why you see him in the Test squad. But Rasheed said that talking about his performance in One-Day and shorter formats is premature,” Rasheed said.

Rasheed highlighted the significance of the Asia Cup as a platform to assess players’ suitability for Indian conditions ahead of the World Cup. As the tournament unfolds in Sri Lanka, Rasheed emphasized the need for batsmen who can handle spin-friendly and slow pitches. The chief selector stated that no player should be ruled out at this stage, as final selection decisions will be based on a thorough evaluation of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses within the specific conditions of the World Cup.

“The Asia Cup is happening in Sri Lanka, and we don’t know what decision will be made for the World Cup in India. There are spin-friendly and slow pitches where you need batters to play spinners well. So you can’t rule anyone out, but when we sit down for the final selection, we will weigh their good and bad points and see who can benefit us more in those conditions, and then decisions will be made,” he added.

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The Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled to be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The initial phase will see Pakistan hosting the first four matches, while Sri Lanka will take charge of the subsequent nine games and the final. From August 31 to September 17, the tournament will provide valuable exposure and preparation for the teams leading up to the World Cup. The ICC World Cup 2023 is set to take place from October 5 to November 19, with an India vs. Pakistan match scheduled in Ahmedabad.

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