Johannesburg : Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has backed opener Fakhar Zaman to make an impact in the longest format of the game after the uncapped player was named in the Test squad for the upcoming series against England and Ireland.
Besides Zaman, current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq’s nephew Imam-ul-Haq, batsmen Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali, and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf are the other four uncapped members to have received maiden Test call-ups.
And Akram believes inclusion of Zaman in the Test squad is a big thing as he hopes the aggressive opener could put pressure on their opposition like Australia’s David Warner and former Indian opener Virender Sehwag.
“Fakhar Zaman in the Test squad is a big thing. Maybe like Warner and Sehwag, he can put pressure on the opposition. In England, the Dukes ball makes it ideal conditions for the bowlers,” Sport24 quoted Akram, as saying.
Meanwhile, Akram backed chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq’s decision to exclude Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) top performer Wahab Riaz as he too believes the paceman has not done enough to earn a recall into the national squad.
“Wahab bowled well in PSL but PSL is different from Test cricket. He’s been expensive, though he does get wickets but he isn’t consistent. I think the way Rahat is bowling now means he’ll be a better option, he’s swinging the ball at pace,” Akram said.
Ireland are slated to play their inaugural lone Test against Pakistan from May 11 before the latter side head into England for two-match series, beginning May 24.(ANI)