Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed among five key players rested for Australia ODIs; Umar Akmal recalled into squad

Pakistan selectors sprung a surprise Friday by resting regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and five key players for the five-match one-day series against Australia in March.

Agence France-Presse, Mar 08, 2019 18:36:43 IST

Karachi: Pakistan selectors sprung a surprise Friday by resting regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and five key players for the five-match one-day series against Australia in March.

While chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq stressed that resting Sarfraz was a unanimous decision, media reports blasted the move, suggesting Sarfraz did not want to miss all five matches.

Apart from Sarfraz, opener Fakhar Zaman, batsman Babar Azam, spinner Shadab Khan and fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi will also be rested.

File image of Sarfaraz Ahmed. AP

File image of Sarfaraz Ahmed. AP

Inzamam said the decision was aimed at freshening up the squad for the 2019 World Cup, starting in England in May.

"We have the World Cup as our focus and since the team is playing non-stop cricket, we are resting some players, including captain Sarfraz, as we want the players to be fresh for the mega event," he said at a press conference.

Shoaib Malik will lead the side for the matches to be played in Sharjah on 22 and 24 March, Abu Dhabi on 27 March, and Dubai on 29 and 31 March.

Another batsman, Mohammad Hafeez, was not considered as he is recovering from thumb surgery.

Maverick batsman Umar Akmal, who played the last of his 116 one-day internationals against Australia more than two years ago, was recalled.

He was sent back home from the Champions Trophy in England in 2017 after failing a fitness test.

The squad also has uncapped 31-year-old batsman Abid Ali and rookie fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain.

"Hasnain has been identified as one of the fast bowlers for the future," said Inzamam of the fast bowler, currently playing for Quetta in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

"The 18-year-old has not only bowled with pace, regularly clocking 145 kmh (90 mph), he has shown tremendous control with the ball," he added.

Test specialists Yasir Shah and Mohammad Abbas are also included in the squad. Abbas has never played a one-day international before.

Squad: Shoaib Malik (c), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah

Updated Date: Mar 08, 2019 18:36:43 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5228 124
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3772 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254