‘Sixteen members’ ODI squad announced versus Australia’
KARACHI: Pakistan has announced 16-member squad for five one-day international (ODI) series against Australia starting from March 22 in Dubai.
The selectors have rested six players from squad that lost 2-3 to South Africa earlier this year. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi are among them while Hussain Talat has been dropped and Muhammad Hafeez was not considered as he was recovering from thumb surgery.
Shoaib Malik will lead side in Sarfaraz’s absence. The 37-year-old has played 279 ODIs, including 38 as captain, winning 25 and losing 13. Malik has scored 7,379 runs with nine centuries and also taken 156 wickets.
The players that have been added in squad picked owing to their performance in domestic circuit. These include Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Hasnain, Saad Ali, Umar Akmal and Yasir Shah.
Also includes four uncapped players, Abid Ali, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Hasnain and Saad Ali.
The squad with three openers-Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood, four middle-order batsmen-Haris Sohail, Saad Ali, Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan, wrist spinner Yasir Shah, two all-rounder-Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim and five fast bowlers-Junaid Khan, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Hasnain and Usman Shinwari will face Australia.
Chief Selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq at press conference said, “We have been able to develop a strong bench-strength that has helped us to make eight changes from previous series. This is a good sign for Pakistan cricket as we now have a big pool of players who have capability, talent and potential, and are raring to step up and seize opportunity when thrown at deep end.”
“The changes are made taking into consideration player workload in build up to World Cup, which is starting on May 30. Apart from five ODIs against Australia, we have three warm-up games followed by five ODIs against England and then two World Cup warm-up matches followed by, at least, nine games, which Inshallah will become 11 matches.”
“Had there been no pre-World Cup matches in England, then we would not have made these many changes,” Inzamam said.
“While Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Umar Akmal and Yasir Shah are returning to ODI cricket, Abid Ali, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Hasnain and Saad Ali have been rewarded for stellar performances in domestic cricket”, he said.
On youngsters, playing against Australia he said, “Abid Ali has been knocking on doors of international cricket”. But because we had opted for tried and tested players in past few series, he was unable to break into side. He has now got an opportunity and I am hoping he will deliver well.”
Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Yasir Shah are members of squad.