Was it worth removing Shoaib Malik from the 12-man squad?

The exclusion of Shoaib Malik from the 12-man squad for the match against West Indies came as a surprise.

By
Moazzam Shah

The exclusion of Shoaib Malik from the 12-member squad for the match against West Indies came as a surprise for many. Fans are divided over the decision - as one camp believes that the senior player's inclusion is necessary while the other believes that his utility is not as desired. 

I personally believe that while Pakistani team has selected Haris Sohail over Malik, but as an off-spinner, the senior may turn out to be handier against West Indies as they have four left-handed batsmen in their batting line-up.

Haris Sohail is a left-arm spinner, and the team has already one in the form of Imad Wasim. Keeping this in mind, Shoaib Malik seems to be the better choice as left-handers used to struggle against off-spinners.

On the other hand, Haris Sohail has shown some good performances with the bat in recent times and he seems to be a decent choice in the middle order. The other reason which management might have considered it is that the Pakistani team do not have any left-handed batsman in the middle order. 

The combination of left and right-handed batsman in the middle during middle overs might prove to be handy especially in the rotation of strike. It does upset bowlers as well, as they have to change their line and length and have to adjust the field regularly.

Both perspectives are very valid but perhaps the management should have gone with an off-spinner alongside with Mohammad Hafeez against such a heavy loaded left-handed batting line-up.

Note: The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geo News or the Jang Group.