Squads for India: Afridi axed from ODIs, Younis returns
LAHORE: Former captain Shahid Afridi was left out of Pakistan’s one-day international squad but kept his place in Twenty20 internationals when Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee announced the teams for the up-coming limited-overs tour of India.
Chief selector Iqbal Qasim revealed the squads in a delayed press conference at PCB’s headquarters at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on Monday.
The selectors picked three uncapped players who have shown impressive performances in domestic tournaments. These include leg-spinner Zulfiqar Babar – who was the leading wicket-taker (62 in nine matches) in the recently-concluded President’s Trophy – as well as batsman Haris Sohail – who scored 673 runs in five matches in the tournament top-scored in the same tournament and pacer Asad Ali, who topped the wickets tally (15) in the domestic Twenty20 competition that ended on Sunday.
Former captain Younis Khan made a surprise comeback into the ODI squad after having been left out of the team for the series against Australia in August-September. The 35-year-old has only managed 167 runs in his 10 ODI performances this calendar year.
Meanwhile, Afridi, who has taken 35 wickets and scored 408 runs in the 23 ODIs since the World Cup semi-final against India last year, which Pakistan lost in Mohali, was left out of the ODI line-up on the basis of poor form.
Qasim said Afridi would have to “prove his performance in the two T20s if he wants to be considered for future ODIs.”
He said the same applied to veteran all-rounder Razzaq, who starred for champions Lahore Lions in the domestic tournament.
Opener Imran Nazir, all-rounder Yasir Arafat and pacer Mohammad Sami, who were part of Pakistan’s squad at the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka in October, were dropped while left-arm spinner Raza Hasan and middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq miss out due to injuries.
Seven players were recalled by the selectors on back of recent performances. Umar Amin, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Ahmed Shahzad were called in for the T20 squad while Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz and Imran Farhat are part of the ODI squad.
The announcement for the two 15-member squads comes nearly two weeks before the opening match of the tour, a T20 match in Ahmedabad on December 25, and a day after the final of the domestic Twenty20 cup.
Pakistan will fly to New Delhi on December 22 and play the first Twenty20 match in Bangalore three days later.
The second Twenty20 match will be played in Ahmedabad on December 27 followed by one-day matches in Chennai (December 30), Kolkata (January 3) and Delhi (January 6).
Twenty20 squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Asad Ali, Zulfiqar Babar, Ahmed Shahzad
One-day international squad: Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Haris Sohail, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Anwar Ali.