By BV Swagath
Pakistan has named two squads – for the T20Is and the ODIs that will be played on their short tour of India later this month. The Selectors have made half a dozen changes each in both the T20I and the ODI Squads.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi who has been one of the most important player in any series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan has been axed from the ODI Squad surprisingly. This could well be because of his poor batting efforts which have spoilt his otherwise consistent bowling performances. Afridi has been included in the T20I Squad though which the Selectors think is an opportunity for him to retain a place in the ODI team.
Former Captain Younis Khan has been recalled in the ODI team. The 35-year-old Younis Khan had played quite a few important knocks against India and was found out of favour following a string of poor scores in recent times. Another former Skipper Shoaib Malik who has struggled with the bat has been axed while young gun Asad Shafiq has been omitted because of an injury. Fast bowlers Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz are back in the ODI team.
Pakistan have named the 7 feet tall Mohammad Irfan in the T20 Squad. The 30-year-old left-arm pacer had played in a couple of ODIs against England in 2010. Another left-arm pacer Junaid Khan who has been impressive in Test matches has earned his spot back in the team. Also making it back to the Pakistan team is opener Ahmed Shehzad who has had a great time in the recently concluded Faysal Bank T-20 Cup.
Pakistan’s Tour of India comprises of two T20Is and three ODIs. The short tour begins at Bengaluru with the First T20I on Christmas Day on December 25th.
Pakistan ODI Squad: Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Haris Sohail, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Anwar Ali, Zulfiqar Babar
Pakistan’s T20I Squad: Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Asad Ali, Zulfiqar Babar, Ahmed Shehzad