The batting talents unearthed through PSL 2020
For almost a decade now, Pakistan have been struggling to unearth quality batsmen. When you look back at the best of the lot that the Men in Green have produced after the batch of Imran Khan, there are names of Younis Khan, Mohammad Yusuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar, but none of these names are from the recent crop.
In recent times, if there is any Pakistan batsman who has taken the cricket world by storm, it is Babar Azam. Apart from him, there are some good batsmen in Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq who have the ability to accelerate but they have not been able to remain consistent. The others like Shan Masood, Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq have limited number of strokes in the repertoire.
Hence, some of the following young batting talents that came up in this edition of the Pakistan Super League can well be the future Pakistan batting stars.
Haider Ali (Peshawar Zalmi)
Playing for Peshawar Zalmi, Haider Ali was quite impressive with 239 runs from 9 matches at an average of almost 30. But what particularly stood out was his explosive nature of batting as he went about his business at a strike rate of almost 160, including the top score of 69 against Lahore Qalandars in the second last match of the season.
Haider Ali began to attract attention when he struck a half-century against the Indian Under 19 team in the recently concluded Under 19 World Cup in South Africa. Ali has also played a few First-class games in which he has done quite well and averages almost 50. He is likely to be the man for the future for Pakistan.
Azam Khan (Quetta Gladiators)
The namesake of Pakistan's white-ball skipper, Azam Khan also looks set for a bright future. Moin Khan's son though was quite inconsistent in PSL 05 and managed just 150 runs from 9 matches.
But, in the couple of knocks that he played against Karachi kings and Islamabad United, it was evident that Azam has a bright future ahead of him. Just 21, he is also a wicketkeeper like his father and will only improve from here on.
Khushdil Shah (Multan Sultans)
Khushdil Shah has already broken into the Pakistan international setup and he gave enough signs of why he is talked about so much in the country's cricketing circles. Shah scored 175 runs from 8 innings in the last edition of the PSL at an average of 43.75 and a strike rate of over 145.
Playing for Multan Sultans, he looked at his best during his 70 not out knock against Lahore Qalandars in the last match of PSL 2020. Shah also showed his talent in his unbeaten 30 and unbeaten 43 against Peshawar Zalmi.
Zeeshan Ashraf (Multan Sultans)
Multan Sultans' Zeeshan Ashraf was another batsman who caught the eye. His statistics of 169 runs from 9 matches at an average of 18.77 and a strike rate of 133.07 don't look too pretty either but he too gave enough evidence of the talent that the 27-year-old possesses.
Zeeshan Ashraf has already played 25 First-class and 23 List A games but has not come into his own yet. In the knock of 52 he played against Peshawar Zalmi and another half-century against Islamabad United earlier in the season, the the left-hander played some breathtaking shots.
©Cricket World 2020