Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam sent another reminder to national selectors of his form by registering his 31st first-class century in the domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy over the weekend.
Alam, 33, scored a fluent 100 off 138 deliveries for his domestic side Sindh against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The prolific batsman has now scored more than 11,000 first-class runs at an average in excess of 56. He is fourth best among all batsmen to have made their debuts since 2000.
His stats are more impressive considering the generally poor conditions of Pakistan pitches. First innings scores in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy are consistently among the lowest for major nations.
The left-handed Alam continues to be among the top run-scorers season after season. He has played three Tests, 38 ODIs and 24 Twenty20 Internationals for Pakistan. His last appearance for the Test side was almost 10 years ago against New Zealand while and he last played in a one-day international came against Bangladesh in April 2015.
Former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur seemed unconvinced of Alam's qualities but with former captain Misbah-ul-Haq now calling the shots in the country – he was recently made head coach and chief selector – there is hope of Alam.
If anyone can sympathise with Alam’s situation, it’s Misbah who himself was a late bloomer. Misbah found regulalry found himself in and out of the Test side after making his debut in 2001 before finally cementing his place as a batting mainstay from 2007 until his retirement in 2017 age 43.
After his latest effort with the bat, Alam was asked about his omission from the national team. His reply was philosophical. "My job is inside the ground, not outside. Ups and downs are part of life. You can't get everything your way every time," he was quoted as saying by Geo News.
"I have seen more downs than ups but thankfully that has made me even stronger and I always try to keep my chin up.
“My job is to perform in middle. Why I am not picked is a question for the selectors.”