Fast bowler Mohammad Amir and wicket batsman Mohammad Rizwan have been appointed to the Pakistani ODI team for the five games in South Africa. Close combat all-rounder Hussain Talat and batsman Shan Masood, both of whom are not open to ODI cricket, have also been appointed to the squad.
Asif Ali and Junaid Khan, who belonged to the New Zealand Series ODI squad in the United Arab Emirates, were eliminated as Haris Sohail recovered from a knee injury.
Since the Champions Trophy finals in June 2017, Amir has played only 10 ODIs and scored only three goals averaging 100.66. Amir, however, showed excellent form in the first two tests in South Africa and scored eight wickets with an average of 23.87.
“Amir’s good performance in the test series not only made him an automatic choice, but also helped us decide to rest on Abbas,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief selector.
Inzamam clarified that Junaid was dropped for “fitness issues,” while Asif dropped 9 points in the only ODI he played against New Zealand. Despite beating a 33-ball 80 for Cape Town Lightning in the 20-year Mzansi Super League in South Africa and then scoring a 62-ball goal in the National T20 Cup that did not turn out for Islamabad, Asif dropped out.
“Junaid Khan was not considered for this tour because we believe he has had to work more on his bowling since the fitness problems he had ended with New Zealand.
“Asif Ali was dropped due to an inconsistent and below-average performance, and in his place we decided to give Hussain Talat the opportunity to show his courage and skill, and he’s a good left-handed batsman who can shoot too.”
Talat, Asif’s MSL team-mate, however, was honored for his good performances for the Pakistani aspiring team in the 50-year tournament and in the national T20 Cup. He had won 109 against 109 UAE in Karachi last December against UAE 116.
He followed him with 149 runs and six wickets in four games of the domestic T20 tournament. Talat was described by the PSL 2017 as an exciting talent when he slammed a 39-ball 56 for Islamabad United.
Rizwan, who last played an ODI in January 2017, was also rewarded with the up and coming team and the A team for a good run. He is the second wicketkeeper in the squad behind captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Usman Khan together with the recalled Amir make the suture attack, while Legspinner Shadab Khan, now eligible for the third Test in Johannesburg, and the left arm spinner Imad Wasim the only spin options at the Front are.
Masood, who was initially out of the test, is now also in the ODI squad. He competes for a role in the middle order, which includes Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz.
Pakistan ODI Squad
Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Khan