LAHORE: Head Coach and Chief Selector Misbah ul Haq on Saturday announced 16-men squad for three-match one day international series against Sri Lanka.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Fakhar Zaman, Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imam ul Haq, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Muhammad Hasnain, Imad Wasim, Usman Shinwari, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz are included in the squad.
“Fakhar’s performance has dipped a bit but still he is a striking performer with an average of 47 in ODI,” Misbah ul Haq said while addressing a press conference regarding the announcement of the squad.
He said players like him proved to be match-winners for you, so you could not afford to waste him.
To a query regarding testing new or low-performing players against a “low-level Sri Lankan team”, he said Pakistan team was not a laboratory that you will test players in it, whoever will perform in domestic matches will make it to the national team.
The head coach said without proper inspection they could not field a player in an international arena.
To a query, he said Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik had performed very well in the last T20 Internationals, but the other players should consider it a chance for them in their absence. “We cannot completely write-off any player.”
The chief selector justified Nawaz’s inclusion saying that at No 7 they required an all-rounder. He said Pakistan needed to develop a batting firepower at lower numbers to generate more runs.
On Sept 4, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had named former captain Misbah-ul-Haq as Pakistan men’s national team head coach as well as chief selector in all three formats on a three-year contract.
“In line with the PCB’s commitment to ensure transparency, accountability and role clarity at all levels, Misbah has also been named as the Chairman of Selectors with head coaches of the six first-class Cricket Association sides as his fellow selectors,” the national cricket board had confirmed.