Pakistan name 16-member squad for New Zealand ODIs; Shan Masood, Haris Sohail return

Haris Rauf, having gained complete fitness, will also return to the side for the ODI series.

Pakistan Team
Pakistan Team (Photo Source: Twitter/PCB)

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The Babar Azam-led Pakistani side is slated to face New Zealand in a three-match ODI series starting January 9, Monday at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi. Pakistan have named a strong 16-member squad for the three games, and Haris Rauf, who injured himself during the England Tests will be back in action for the 50-over games.

Mohammad Rizwan, who was left out for the Test series against the Kiwis, will be back for the limited-overs games. The Pakistan men's interim selection committee named a list of probable players after the end of the first Test, and have selected 16 players with an aim to prepare them for the Asia Cup 2023 as well as the ODI World Cup 2023.

After outstanding performances in the Pakistan Cup, rookie batsman Tayyab Tahir and spinner Usama Mir were picked for the team. Shan Masood and Haris Sohail will be returning to the side for the 50-over format for the first time since 2019 and 2020, respectively. For the first time, Kamran Ghulam, a member of the Test team, has been selected for the ODI team.

Shaheen Afridi continues to be sidelined due to his injury

While Haris Rauf has been added to the starting lineup after returning fit and fully recovering from the thigh injury, Shaheen Shah Afridi, albeit showing significant progress, was left out. The selectors wanted to give the 22-year-old more time to regain full fitness after consulting with the medical panel. He will likely return to play for the eighth edition of the PSL.

Shadab Khan, the vice-captain of Pakistan, could not make the cut after fracturing his right index finger in Australia the previous week. Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, and Zahid Mehmood were also a part of the team that played Pakistan's last ODI series against the Netherlands in Rotterdam, but they were not picked for the upcoming series.

“We had limited ODI cricket last year and this year, we are scheduled to play 11 ODIs before we participate in the ACC Asia Cup, followed by the World Cup in conditions that will be familiar to us. So, we aim to make optimum use of these 11 ODIs by providing opportunities to our consistent performers that will enable us to select the best available players for the two important tournaments,” Shahid Afridi, Interim Chief Selector, said in PCB’s official statement.

Pakistan’s squad for three ODIs vs New Zealand: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir

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