Pakistan cricket teams head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday named 22 probable for the ODI and T20I series against Zimbabwe, insisting he has opted for experience in the 50-over matches and provided extended run to the youngsters in the T20I format.
‘The probable named for the series are a mixture of experience and youth, keeping an eye on future of Pakistan cricket’, Misbah told newsmen here at a press conference at Gadaffi stadium.
Pakistan have not played ODIs since the home series against Sri Lanka 12 months ago and the Rawalpindi matches will be part of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League from which the seven top-ranked sides, apart from hosts India, will qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
For the Lahore T20Is, the selectors have preferred continuity and consistency, while acknowledging the just concluded National T20 Cup had provided some exciting talent, which will be considered for the Pakistan and Shaheens’ next month tour to New Zealand and early next year’s home T20Is, he said.
‘The selectors have rewarded Central Punjab’s Abdullah Shafiq with a call-up after the 20-year-old former Pakistan U19 batsman finished as the seventh most successful batsman in the National T20 Cup with 358 runs with a strike-rate of over 133. Abdullah scored a century on his T20 debut, becoming only the second player in history to make a century on both first-class and T20 debuts’, said the chief selector.
Shoaib Malik, who was player of the final, has made way for Abdullah Shafiq, while Rohail Nazir has been named as Mohammad Rizwan’s back-up wicketkeeper. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was part of the squad for the England tour, has been encouraged to feature in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, starting 25 October, so that he rediscovers better form ahead of the New Zealand tour.
Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Naseem Shah were not considered for selection as they are recovering from injuries, but have been advised to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy to prove their fitness before they are considered for selection.
Batsmen – Abdullah Shafiq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Hafeez Wicketkeepers – Mohammad Rizwan and Rohail Nazir Spinners – Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir and Zafar Gohar Fast bowlers – Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Shaheen Shah and Wahab Riaz
The probable will assemble in Lahore on 21 October for Covid-19 testing and after observing a five-day isolation period, during which they will play two 50-over matches at the Gaddafi Stadium, will travel to Rawalpindi on Monday, 26 October. The probable for three T20Is will be short listed after the ODIs and players unlikely to feature in them will be advised to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy third round matches, which will commence from 6 November.—APP