'You can't say an opener can't bat in different roles': Shan reacts to Babar's 'unfair to play him at no.5' comment
The Pakistan batter, who wasn't picked for the ODI series against West Indies, opened up on Babar Azam's comments on his batting position.
Pakistan registered an emphatic 120-run win over West Indies in the second ODI of the three-match series in Multan, securing an unassailable 2-0 lead. The Babar Azam-led side posted 275/8 in fifty overs, as the captain top-scored with 77 runs. With the ball, Mohammad Rizwan was the pick of the bowlers with a four-wicket haul, as Pakistan wrapped the Windies innings on merely 155.
While Pakistan's performance was lauded by the former cricketers from the country, they were also critical over the absence of a certain batter in the ODI squad - Shan Masood. The 32-year-old has produced consistent performances in his County stint with England, as well in the T20 Blast for Derbyshire. Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rashid Latif vouched for the inclusion of Shan in the ODI squad.
Ahead of the series, Babar Azam had spoken on his absence, insisting that the 32-year-old is a top-order batter and it would be “unfair” to play him in the middle-order.
“Shan Masood bats at the top of the order and he has not batted lower down the order. I think it would be unfair with Shan to play him at Nos 5 or 6. We have an eye on him and he will be considered taking the balance of the side into account,” Babar had said.
Shan has now reacted to Babar's comment, as he spoke in detail about his absence from the Pakistan squad.
“I've said it earlier as well, I don't have an issue with the batting order. An opener plays cricket in all the phases - he faces the new ball as well as the old, takes on both spinners and fast bowlers. If he stays till the end, he does the hitting as well. So, you can't say that he doesn't know how to bat in different roles. When I started playing domestic cricket, I played a lot of no.4. In the PSL, I played at no.3 when the team required. I played at no.3 in Tests as well,” Shan said in an interview with Cricket Pakistan on their YouTube channel.
“I talked to Mohammad Wasim and Mohammad Yousuf. I know there's no evidence of me batting at other positions recently, but I don't believe that a position can define you. When you look at the past, different batsmen have played in different roles. You look at England, where batsmen keep shuffling in their positions.”
Shan further said that he doesn't want to limit himself in a particular role.
“I don't want to limit myself in a format, as well as at a position. If someone tells me that Pakistan requires you to play at a particular number, I will. I won't blame anyone. Playing for Pakistan is the biggest thing at the end of the day,” said Shan.