The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday 3rd April, made sweeping changes to all the squads for the forthcoming series against Bangladesh. Chief Selector Haroon Rashid introduced the new teams as part of a 4 year plan. This has resulted from the variable, below par World Cup performances, but has affected all formats of the game for Pakistan.
There is also a reinforced emphasis on discipline and team spirit, which has recently been troubling the squad.
Azhar Ali was already named as ODI Captain and Test Vice Captain.
Saeed Ajmal is back after his bowling action was cleared. Hafeez back from injury, but bowling action assessment is due soon. Junaid Khan and Umar Gul also return from injury.
As expected the better World Cup performers have been given a push up. These include Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Khan.
The PCB has this time made some significant changes with the opportunity being given to the up and coming talented youngsters.
Fortunately there is no shortage of talent in the Pakistan set up. Fierce competition for each and every place is good for cricket. Quality will improve as a result.
Let’s take a look at who’s in and out in the shake up.
Players in all formats (Test, ODI, T20):
Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan.
Sami Aslam (Test/ODI teams). 19 year old, L handed opening batsmen from Lahore. Ex- Under 19 Pakistan Captain. Impressive Under 19 records and domestic performances.
Babar Azam (Test team). 20 years old, R handed opening batsmen from Lahore. Ex-Under Pakistan Captain. Very good domestic form and technique.
Mohammad Rizwan (ODI/T20 teams). 22 year old, R handed middle order batsmen and wicket keeper from Peshawar.
Mukhtar Ahmed (T20 team). 22 year old, R handed middle order batsmen from Sialkot. Impressive domestic T20 form.
Saad Nasim (T20 team). 24 year old, R hand batsmen and Leg spin bowler from Lahore. Up and coming all rounder.
Nasir Jamshed due to poor form. Umar Akmal not in any of the teams. Ahmed Shehzad only makes the T20 team. (Allegedly some discipline issues with the later two).
Younis Khan makes the Test team but rested for the ODIs.
Mohammad Irfan out due to injury.
Pakistan v Bangladesh Series:
The match up will consist of 2 Tests, 3 ODIs and a single T20 game.
We wish the Pakistan team all the best for the series.
Test: Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sami Aslam, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali,
Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz,
Junaid Khan, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali.
ODI: Azhar Ali (Capt), Sami Aslam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam,
Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, Sohaib Maqsood, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali,
Ehsan Adil, Sohail Khan.
Twenty20: Shahid Afridi (Capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Mukhtar
Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Saad Nasim,
Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan.