The Rising Star of Pakistan | A closer look at Saud Shakeel’s Test Career:
Saud Shakeel, one of Pakistan’s newest additions in the team who got his Test cap in the first Test match against England almost a month ago, has proved that his selection, in no way, was detrimental to the team. If anything, his presence in the squad has provided Pakistan with a reliable batter who is a sponge which absorbs the pressure while giving much-needed runs.
Saud was made the part of the national team after his successful first class season this year where he played for Sindh and helped them steer to the finals of the Quaid e Azam trophy. His average, this season, was 68.54 with as many as 4 centuries next to his name. Apart from that, he ended at the 5th position in the list of highest run-getters in the Quaid e Azam trophy this year.
In the recent Test match against New Zealand, Saud yet again came to the ground, padded up to bat after Babar Azam’s timber was struck owing to a miscommunication between him and Imam ul Haq. Thus forcing Pakistan into a very grave situation. Saud came, held his ground and tried to protect his wicket throughout the remaining play of the day. Despite New Zealand bowlers doing their best, the left-hander stood like a wall and built a dynamic partnership with Sarfaraz Ahmed. Finally he was paid for his perseverance when he reached his first century in a Test match. Even after Sarfaraz was dismissed, the Southpaw remained and batted showing no signs of frustration. His old-school way of playing Test cricket had people predicting that he might end up as one of the country’s finest in the original format of the game.
Even in the first Test match – when Saud was sent at the 8th position, a position he is not used to batting at, in the second innings to bat with the tail – he did not fail to do his duty. There, too, the prolific batter played with all his might to score a well-built fifty.
His average in the 4 Test matches that he has played so far is 60.42 and will surely rise after today’s brilliant knock. As the day 3 ended, Saud left the ground after stumps, unbeaten at 124, his highest total in international cricket as of yet. As the 4th day begins tomorrow, Saud will continue his brilliant innings once again. The innings which helped Pakistan get back into the game.