Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Dubai December 19, 2013

Sharjeel, Maqsood impress Whatmore


Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore has affirmed the promise of batsmen Sharjeel Khan and Sohaib Maqsood ahead of the second ODI against Sri Lanka. Sharjeel stroked a run-a-ball 61 in Sharjah to set Pakistan's commanding total in motion, before Maqsood consolidated his team's advantage alongside Mohammad Hafeez in the middle overs, hitting 73 from 68.

They were impressive hands from Sharjeel, on debut, and Maqsood, in his sixth ODI, and although Whatmore was careful not to overstate their potential, he lauded their hunger, as well as their intent at the crease.

"It was a very good innings by Maqsood. He's somebody that's shown the selectors and myself that he wants to play," Whatmore said. "When you lose eight to ten kilos in a relatively short space of time, that's a big effort. Just on that alone I reckon it was worth selecting him. He's rewarded us with some terrific performances.

"Sharjeel debuted yesterday, but in my pre-match talk at the ground, I completely forgot it was his debut because I got the feeling he's been around so much recently in the T20s. We eventually all congratulated him and he showed the sort of potential that he has. I'm not going to say he's going to be a great player, but he's got the potential to be a very good contributor. I'm pleased with that.

"Sohaib Maqsood happens to tell me Sharjeel is his childhood friend. During Sharjeel's innings, Maqsood sat next to me and gave some useful predictions about this kid. They were both very true - on the money. It's good that each of these guys know each other's games."

Whatmore also praised Hafeez for his 122, which held the Pakistan's innings together. Hafeez struggled for batting form in home and away series against South Africa, and had not crossed 35 in his eight previous ODI innings.

"Hafeez was really keen yesterday to get back amongst the runs," Whatmore said. "He's been a very good contributor in some ways. He had a lean patch against South Africa and was very keen to get back into runs - you might have seen his celebration after the hundred. To me, Hafeez is an automatic selection because he is a multi-dimensional player - the sort we need more of in Pakistan."

Whatmore said the option of batting Hafeez lower down his customary No. 3 had been brought up within the team but he expressed confidence that Hafeez could contribute from anywhere in the side.

"There has been some discussion about dropping him down the order, particularly when he wasn't getting runs against South Africa, which was a disappointment for him, more than anything else. But he knows what I think and I speak to him directly. I think he's got many, many more years to serve the country and whether he does it successfully at number three or whether he does it successfully lower in the order is something somebody else will have to agree on, because I finish in the next few weeks. He's certainly a valuable player for Pakistan."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • B on December 20, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Its a disaster that Pakistan cannot identify the people which are supposed to do the job for them. I do not see that good quality in Sharjeel or Maqsood but I could be wrong in their case. What will happen is they will perform well for awhile as they are better than those who are VERY inconsistent but in the end they will fail to be good over many years which is the actual requirement. Then the chance will be given to the superinconsistent who will peform well for an even shorter amount of time and then these so-so players will get the chance yet again. But we will win some things because of supergreat bowling so the problem gets swept under the rug when we should be winning a LOT more. Im finding it harder and harder to root for Pak as its sad to see insane administration destroy the foundations of our cricket and incompetent people in PCB can continue to sit on their posts forever.

    With risk of sounding arrogant, its clear everyone here does not appreciate this type of thinking.

  • Shahab on December 20, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Yes they both are good, infact I repeat once again Sharjeel's stance reminds me of Mark Taylor. Also agree on Hammad Azam not being selected, cannot understand the reason to have Abdur Rehman in the side when already a spinning option is available in Maqsood. Hammad, Bhatti and Anwar Ali should fight for the 2 spots in the ODI team.

  • Janaka on December 20, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Pakistan is having a very good time. It's going to be very tough for Sri Lanka. If we need to win, I think we have to rest the passenger batsmen, and let the hitters come bit early. But it depends on the situation. It seems the pitch is very good for batting. So, need to be very positive. All the best for both teams.

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    we hope that both will do good job today

  • Majid on December 20, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Well..well.., this guys sharjeel and maqsood, both of them has shown how much talented there are but I generally think it also so early to say that they will become good players unless they understand the situations the game demands and play accordingly, seniors should talk to them regularly and ask them to take match by match and please keep these media away from them, it is here players get spoilt. I feel Junaid is not performing because of the hype given to him, please send sohail tanvir back to domestic circuit, let him perform there and come back with his peformance. select anwar ali as he is only option left for tanvir as a alrounder and someone tell bilawal batti not to bowl many bouncers in an over. all the best Pakistan, InshaAllah they will win.

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    i think Whatmore must continue atleast for T20 world cup ... After that we can see step by step for 50 our wc.

  • Android on December 20, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Both are promising but I like sharjeel more.

  • Johann on December 20, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Pak fans can enjoy as their batsmen will improve averages and bowlers will get more wickets to show. Our team make the below par Afridi as extra ordinary! Hope Misbha will score a hundred too. No hope in my team.

  • Saiful on December 20, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Srilanka and Pakistan play cricket in a similar fashion. Pakistan has a slight advantage in the bowling department. When the Srilanka batting fires up, Even the best teams find it hard to beat them. Shark eel and Sohaib seems like good finds. But they are largely untried and relatively new. If they are selected to play more ODI's and T-20 matches for Pakistan, we will be able to determine their consistency. Umar Akmal should be dropped and replaced by Another performing batsman. Pakistan needs replacements for Razzak and Afridi. Hammad Azam should be given an extended chance

  • Muhammad on December 20, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Sharjeel and Maqsood excellient players for pak team.Hope they continue performance like this need a quick pace bowler for pak team.

  • No featured comments at the moment.