Pakistan skips Kamran, Hafeez in Australia ODI squad
KARACHI: Pakistan overlooked in-form batsman Kamran Akmal and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in a 15-man squad for the five-match ODI series in Australia, keeping faith in the same set of players who went down 2-0 in the Tests on Friday.
Akmal, 35, has been in superb form scoring 1035 runs in the four-day first-class tournament and another 361 with two hundreds in the ongoing one-day cup.
Selectors instead retained Test batsman Asad Shafiq, who hit an epic 137 in Pakistan’s narrow 39-run defeat in the first Test at Brisbane last week.
Pakistan lost the second Test in Melbourne by an innings and 18 runs on Friday and will play the third and final Test in Sydney from January 3 before the one-day series.
Hafeez was thought likely to return to one-day team after his bowling action was cleared following a 12-month ban, but his recent form was not considered good enough to earn a recall.
“The one-day team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions in Australia and the performances of players in the recent series against West Indies and in domestic cricket,” said chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Pakistan whitewashed West Indies 3-0 in the United Arab Emirates in October.
“The team is a fine blend of experience and youth, and the selectors have stuck to the same combination of players selected against West Indies series earlier and believe that team will do well on the tour”, he added
Giant paceman Mohammad Irfan returns to the squad after being sent home mid-way from the England one-day series following fitness problems.
The first one-day will be played on January 13 at Brisbane followed by matches in Melbourne (January 15), Perth (January 19), Sydney (January 22) and Adelaide (January 26).
Azhar Ali, who hit a double-century in the second Test, will lead the one-day side.
Pakistan ODI Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir.