As we know that Pakistan had a disastrous tour of Australia as they lost 3-0. The fielding was heavily criticised as was their batting. Players like Faisal, Yousef, Younis etc were really disappointing as they just couldn't convert good starts into big scores. It does show that Pakistan need to look at younger players and not just go back to old faces like Faisal Iqbal or even Shoaib Malik as in test cricket, Malik too has been disappointing. Even senior players like Yousef and Younis Khan have to again perform. Yes, players like Yousef and Younis have been great servants of Pakistan's cricket and they should be given opportunities to come back to form as they are very good players but at some point they have to start performing again.
So, if some of the players like Iqbal and Malik have to be left out, selectors have to find replacements for them. I don't have too much knowledge about Pakistan's domestic cricket but from what I have seen, Alam can be given a decent run in the side. Since his debut against the Lankans in the onedayers in 2007 he has done reasonably well for sure. He is a middle-order batsman who can bowl left arm spin though nowadays he hardly bowls spin but the sad fact is in one-day internationals, Pakistan's management have made him bat at even no. 8 or occasionally at no. 9. In the recently concluded one-day series against Australia, he finally got a chance to bat at number 6 and he showed his class by averaging 39 and scored a crucial half century in the last match though Pakistan lost that match and the series 5-0. Add to it, Alam averages 40.87 in one-day internationals and that isn't bad for a young player.
In test cricket, he has only played three matches yet he scored an important hundred at Galle. It wasn't the easiest of wickets to bat on and Pakistan were in trouble yet he scored a fine 168. Another interesting point to note is that he was asked to open the batting in that match still he was able to do well on his debut itself. It does show that he is a gutsy batsman as it isn't easy for a middle order batsman to open the batting and that too on his debut but unfortunately it can be said that Pakistan's cricket is full of chaos as they dumped Alam after he had a bad match in New Zealand. So, is it right to drop a batsman after one failure? and that too we are thinking of a young player who was batting in a unfamiliar position on New Zealand tracks. For any young player it isn't easy to do well in New Zealand as the tracks in NZ can help the quicker bowlers. More bad news was to follow for Alam as they sent him back home without giving him a chance against the Aussies in the test series! On one hand batsmen like Iqbal and even Yousef weren't contributing in the test series yet they sent Alam back home to Pakistan. It was indeed a weird decision and I can't imagine what Alam must have been thinking about that decision. Alam was thankfully recalled for the one-day series against Australia and he did show that he can do well in Australia by scoring a fine half century in the final onedayer. More importantly he was batting at number 6 and I think he is well suited to that position.
Alam, shuffles across a lot and he isn't going to brings crowds into the stadium to watch his batting but I would rather have a player who has a technique that seems to work for him and does well than a player who looks good but can't score runs. Alam, deserves a decent run in the side as players like Umar Akmal and Alam are the future of Pakistan's batting but with Pakistan one can never know what they are going to do next!