Veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik were appointed to the 15-man team for Pakistan’s T20I series with three games against Bangladesh.
Pakistan has lost seven players – Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz – who were part of the T20I squad that started the three-game series in November last year Australia has lost.
They recalled the experienced all-rounder Hafeez and the former skipper Malik and among the other three players without a cap – the batsman Ahsan Ali, who was part of the Quetta Gladiators squad who won the last edition of the Pakistan Super League, and the Pacemen Amad Butt and Haris Rauf.
Rauf currently plays in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars and has 16 gates in seven games, including a hat trick. With the ball, the average is only 11.56.
Another player who is likely to make his debut in the upcoming series is Abdul Qadir’s son Usman, who was named in the T20I roster during the Australia tour. The leg spinner was not seen in any of the T20Is, but it has kept its place in the squad, while young sensation Shaheen Afridi, who missed the T20I series against Australia and Sri Lanka due to illness, also returned.
“We have lost eight of our last nine T20I’s and this is unacceptable as number one,” said Pakistani chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Thursday, January 16. “We need to end our loss cycle and return to the habits that lead to the upcoming Asia Cup and the ICC T20 World Cup. This has played a critical role in our decision making.”
“We tried our alternative combinations in the series against Sri Lanka and Australia and obviously they didn’t work as we expected. Hafeez and Shoaib put a total of 200 T20Is in between, and if you mix them with the other teenagers are we have in the side, then I think it will be a good mix of experience and youth, “he continued.
“The seven players who missed the selection are by no means in our planning, but given their recent form in international cricket and considering other strong performances in our national T20 Cup, we decided to make these changes.
“The games against Bangladesh are part of our preparation as we have found the right combination and preparation for the two major tournaments. The return of Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, and Shaheen Afridi gives us the experience and depth, while Ahsan Ali, Amad Butt, is cocky and Haris Rauf gives the team more firepower, energy, and all-round skills. “
Pakistan T20 Squad For Bangladesh Series 2020
Babar Azam (c), Ahsan Ali, Amad Butt, Iftikhar Ahmed Haris Rauf, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Musa, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Usman Qadir.