Why was Mohammad Haris preferred over Sarfaraz Ahmed?

Mohammad Haris can open as well and fits for the role in case of Mohamad Rizwan's unavailability, says selector

Mohammad Haris (R) and Sarafarz Ahmed (L). -APP/AFP
Mohammad Haris (R) and Sarafarz Ahmed (L). -APP/AFP

Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim Friday shared his opinion on the team selection for the T20 World Cup and the England series, saying Mohammad Haris was given preference over Sarfaraz Ahmed as he can open the batting as well if needed.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the squads on Thursday for the team’s international commitments for the next couple of months, inducting Mohammad Haris in place of Mohammad Rizwan for the home series against England. He is also a travelling reserve for the ICC event scheduled in Australia.

Speaking to The News, on the selection of Mohammad Haris ahead of experienced Sarfaraz Ahmed, Wasim said that the selection committee was looking for the reserve wicket-keeper for the Australian tour -- the one who has the ability to play as an opener also.

“Since Mohammad Rizwan is an opener, we would only need a reserve wicket-keeper if he (Rizwan) is unfit or unable to bat. In that case we would require an opening batsman and Haris perfectly qualifies for that.”

Wasim said that they respect Sarfaraz for his services to the country’s cricket but when it comes to playing white-ball cricket, they don’t think that he can make any difference playing at No 6 or No 7.

Usually, the team needs a power hitter at that number, he added.

“Sarfaraz, however, is back-up wicketkeeper for red-ball cricket where his experience is required. His selection on the team for the T20 World Cup also came under discussion but in the end, we feel that an alternative to Rizwan should be the one who can also open.”