Pakistan former captain Rashid Latif has come to the support of opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq, who is facing the brunt of cricket fans on social media after getting picked in the One Day International (ODI) squad against South Africa despite a mediocre performance in the recently concluded Test series.
“Imam’s performance in the Test series was not up to the mark, and fans on social media are calling to drop him from the ODI squad as well. However, if we look at his ODI stint, he poses an excellent record,” said Rashid at Caught Behind.
In 16 ODI appearances to date, Imam has scored 819 runs at an average of 63 including four hundreds and three fifties. “Imam has the chance to become the fastest player to reach the 1,000 runs mark,” said Rashid.
Rashid said that fans are of the view that Imam-ul-Haq was preferred over other players posing a better domestic record, because he is a relative of PCBs chief selector of Inzamam-ul-Haq. “This happens everywhere. However, when Imam made his international debut, the youngster made an impact in both ODI and Test cricket,” added Rashid.
The former captain was of the view that the youngster needs to work against short balls. However, his performance against South Africa in the ODIs will determine his chances at the upcoming World Cup.
After facing a 9-0 whitewash in the Test series, Pakistan will face the Proteas in limited overs with the first ODI to be played in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 19 January.