No room for Fawad Alam, Shoaib Malik in Pak world cup squad
Fast bowler Sohail Khan was recalled and allrounder Mohammad Hafeez included as a specialist opening batsman in Pakistan's 15-man cricket World Cup squad on Wednesday.Updated: Jan 14, 2015, 17:05 IST
Fast bowler Sohail Khan was recalled and allrounder Mohammad Hafeez included as a specialist opening batsman in Pakistan's 15-man cricket World Cup squad on Wednesday.
Khan was not in the 30-man preliminary squad, but forced his way back into the team more than three years after his fifth and last one-day international with his recent form in domestic matches.
Khan made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2008, played twice more that year, once in 2009, and once again in September 2011 in Harare. The medium-pacer has six wickets. But he has been prolific in Pakistan's one-day and four-day competitions. On Tuesday, he took 6-46 in a one-day match.
Hafeez has been suspended from bowling in internationals, and could not clear unofficial testing of his offspin in India last week, and didn't apply for official testing with the International Cricket Council. This will be his third World Cup.
Legspinner Yasir Shah was picked as backup to Shahid Afridi, while middle-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood returned after recovering from a hand injury.
The team, led by Misbah-ul-Haq, included two opening batsmen, five middle-order batsmen, five fast bowlers, two spinners, and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
"This team has the ability to perform like we did in Australia in 1992," said chief selector Moin Khan, who was part of Pakistan's winning World Cup squad in 1992 under Imran Khan's captaincy. "Our mindset was to go for specialist fast bowlers, but both fast bowlers Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz could also bat a bit lower down the order."
The selectors kept faith with Younis Khan, Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail in the middle order, which meant no room for Fawad Alam and Shoaib Malik.
"We did consider both of them, but in the end we believe Haris Sohail bowled well in the series against New Zealand with his left-arm bowling," the chief selector said. "He also gives us an added advantage of being a left-handed batsman."
Fast bowler Junaid Khan also returned from a knee injury after missing the series against New Zealand, and will lead Pakistan's pace attack with Mohammad Irfan.
Moin Khan said Misbah and coach Waqar Younis were consulted before finalising the squad, and the selectors also considered the playing conditions in Australia and New Zealand.
Pakistan leaves for Down Under on January 21, and starts its World Cup campaign against archrival India at Adelaide on February 15.
Team: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Khan, Ehsan Adil, Wahab Riaz.