Pakistan batsman Shan Masood is surely on the verge of being dropped from the Green Shirts Test side following a series of poor performances in New Zealand.
31-year-old Masood has played 25 Test matches for Pakistan and has shown real promise at times.
He has four centuries in the ultimate format of the game, reaching three figures against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka (twice) and, most recently, England.
The stylish left-hander scored a brilliant 156 at Old Trafford in August but his form has been extremely poor ever since that innings.
Pakistan batsman Shan Masood surely set for Test axe
In his last eight innings’ for Pakistan, Masood has scored just 33 runs at an average of 4.12.
No opening batsman can realistically expect to retain their place in a team with form like that and his 25-ball duck late on Day 3 of the Second Test in Christchurch may prove to be his last knock in international cricket for some time.
It was a third zero for the Pakistan opener in four Test innings in New Zealand, with a first-innings return of 10 in Mount Maunganui his only contribution to his team’s batting card on the tour.
Scores of 8 and 14 in the first-class warm-up match against New Zealand A provide further evidence that the batsman has been badly out of knick since arriving in the country.
Masood’s opening partner, Abid Ali, didn’t cover himself in glory either, recording scores of 25, 0, 25 and 26 in the Test series.
Yet, Ali’s career is only getting started and his average is still in the mid-40s, while Masood’s has now dipped below 30.
Backup opener Imam ul-Haq was ruled out of the New Zealand series with a thumb injury, but he will soon once again be pushing to return to the side, while the inexperienced Imran Butt is also pushing for selection after a standout 2019/20 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy campaign.
Given his age, Shan Masood has plenty of time to go away and work on the technical deficiencies in his game, but his current run in the Pakistan side is surely about to come to an end.