Pakistan World Cup Squad 2019: Pakistan announce final 15-member squad for the World Cup ; Amir, Riaz named as surprise addition
After a 0-4 defeat in the 5-match ODI series against England- which concluded yesterday, Pakistan have come up with their final squad for the imminent ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
On the back of two consecutive ODI bilateral series losses against Australia (at home) and now against England at the World Cup venue, Pakistan are in a spot of bother, particularly in the bowling and the fielding department, which led them down.
Pakistan have therefore, made 3 surprise changes to the initial preliminary squad, which they had announced last month.
The surprise changes and inclusion
Pakistan have roped in their star pacers- Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz in their 15-men World Cup squad, along with the explosive batsman down the order, Asif Ali.
The trio had not been included in the preliminary squad announced the previous month. They replace Abid Ali, Junaid Khan, and Faheem Ashraf who have not made the cut, courtesy some ordinary performances in the recently concluded ODI series against the World Cup hosts, England.
“The bowling unit during the England ODIs has not clicked as anticipated or expected; if we have at our disposal two vastly experienced pace duo of Amir and Wahab, then it will be foolish not to include them,” says Inzamam
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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector, Inzamam-Ul-Haq has given a 100% clearance to the leg-spinner, Shadab Khan, who has not been in action with the ball for quite some time, owing to illness.
Veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez ,has also been cleared for the showpiece Tournament after his inclusion was subject to doubt due to fitness reasons.
“Never discarded Amir”- Inzaman
Chief selector Inzamam while announcing the squad said, that the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final hero was never out of contention for making into the final squad.
“As far as Amir is concerned, we never discarded him,” Inzamam pointed out. “We now want to take a bowler who brings a bit of experience and the previous knowledge of having bowled in English conditions.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s star with the ball during the 2015 ICC World Cup- Wahab Riaz has also named as a surprise inclusion. Riaz last played for Pakistan colours in 2017 Champions Trophy group stage encounter against India.
Just when it appeared that the doors might have been shut on him, his ability to reverse the ball played a role in his recall, according to Inzamam.
“The bowling unit during the England ODIs has not clicked as anticipated or expected,” Inzamam said. “If we have at our disposal two vastly experienced pace duo of Amir and Wahab, then it will be foolish not to include them”.
Junaid had conceded 57 runs off eight overs and 85 runs off ten overs in the two ODIs he played in England. On the other hand, Faheem Ashraf went for 69 off 10 overs, and 85 off the same number of overs in the two ODIs that he played in the series.
While Junaid picked up 2 wickets, Ashraf managed to fox only 1 batsman in the series, forcing the selectors to go for the surprise change.
On the other hand, having impressed with the bat after scoring 2 half-centuries, Asif Ali replaced Abad Ali, who was relatively unlucky, as he only featured in the final ODI yesterday, which Pakistan lost by 54 runs.