Pakistan called up three uncapped players for the ODI series against Australia in the UAE, while Umer Akmal made a comeback in the national team courtesy of his impressive run in the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League.
Pakistan have called up the exciting fast bowler of Quetta Gladiators, Mohammad Hasnain, who can bowl consistently over 140 kph. Moreover, the star performers in domestic cricket, Abid Ali and Saad Ali and the impressive Test bowler, Mohammad Abbas have also been included in the squad.
“Mohammad Hasnain has been identified as one of the fast bowlers for the future. The 18-year-old has not only bowled with pace, regularly clocking 145kmp/h, but he has also shown tremendous control with the ball which has earned him crucial wickets in the ongoing HBL PSL. Like we nurtured and trained Shaheen Shah Afridi and so many other great fast bowlers of yesteryears, we, with the support of the team management, have decided to provide the same pathway to the Hyderabad-born lam,” said Inzamam Ul Haq while announcing the squad at the National Stadium Karachi on Friday.
On the other hand, Umar Akmal has managed to convince the selection committee with his batting in the PSL for Quetta Gladiators to give him another go at the sixth spot in the line-up, which has been left kind of open by Asif Ali with his inconsistent performance.
“Umar Akmal, we all know, is immensely talented and still has plenty to offer. Sometimes, time away from international cricket allows a player to recompose and gather himself, and come back strongly. I hope this happens with this player, as a fully fit and in-form Umar will bolster the middle-order,” he said.
The veteran all-rounder, Shoaib Malik will lead the side against Australia in absence of Sarfraz Ahmed, who has been rested ahead of the world cup. It is important to mention here that Malik led the team against South Africa also because of a four-match suspension imposed by the ICC on the skipper.
The leg-spinner, Yasir Shah is also back in the ODI fold in place of Shadab Khan, who has been rested for the series. Similarly, Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman have also been given some time off, which has paved way for Junaid Khan and Shan Masood to make a comeback.
The chief selector of Pakistan, Inzamam Ul Haq, said that there will be around 11 matches before the world cup, which is too much workload before the global cricketing event, which is why they rested Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hassan Ali, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi for the series.
“The changes have been made taking into consideration the player workload in the build up to the World Cup, which starts 30 May. 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,” he said.
“This is too much cricket in a short period of time. Had there been no pre-World Cup matches in England, then we would not have made these many changes,” he added.
Inzamam coined this series as an opportunity for the new players to show their potential and get a berth in Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming World Cup 2019.
“The series against the world champions will not be an easy one and these players, in fact, will be tested to their limits. This will provide these players a great opportunity to display their skills and temperament, strengthening their claims for a World Cup call-up as there are a few places up for grabs,” he said.
The five-match ODI series will be played from March 22 to 31, while the team will depart on March 18, just after the conclusion of PSL 4.
- Shoaib Malik (captain)
- Abid Ali
- Faheem Ashraf
- Haris Sohail
- Imad Wasim
- Junaid Khan
- Mohammad Abbas
- Mohammad Amir
- Mohammad Hasnain
- Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)
- Saad Ali
- Shan Masood
- Umar Akmal
- Usman Shinwari
- Yasir Shah
22 March – 1st ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
24 March – 2nd ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
27 March – 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi (d/n)
29 March – 4th ODI, Dubai (d/n)
31 March – 5th ODI, Dubai (d/n)