Dean Jones reiterates Asif Ali should be included in Pakistan's World Cup squad

With three more ODIs left in the England series, Asif has a good chance of breaking into Pakistan's World Cup squad.

Dean Jones
Dean Jones. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The debate over Asif Ali’s exclusion from Pakistan’s World Cup squad is once again gathering steam. The right-handed batsman has once again made the world take note of him by playing a fine knock during the second ODI against England on Saturday. Asif’s omission from the World Cup squad had raised quite a number of eyebrows as he is one of the few pinch-hitters in the Pakistani team.

At present, Pakistan’s middle-order does not have too many players who can attack right from the word go and Asif is one of those rare players. His power-hitting has impressed one and all but Pakistan’s selectors decided against picking him up for the mega-event in EnglandBefore the second ODI against England, Pakistan have had a run-rate of 5.26 since the 2017 Champions Trophy.

Their run-rate is the fourth worst amongst the ten teams participating in the World Cup. Unsurprisingly, there were widespread calls for Asif’s inclusion in the squad. While he has not taken international cricket by storm, his power-hitting abilities have been very impressive. In nine ODIs so far, the 27-year-old has scored just one fifty which came against England on Saturday but has a strike-rate of nearly 133. Against England, he slammed 51 from just 36 deliveries and nearly took Pakistan over the line in pursuit of a mammoth 374.

And as soon as the game ended with Pakistan suffering 12-run defeat, former Australia batsman Dean Jones reiterated that Asif should be in the World Cup squad. Re-tweeting a post from a Pakistani journalist, Jones said he had called for Asif’s inclusion two months ago, writing: “I said that 2 months ago!!! #deafears”

Mickey Arthur on Asif Ali

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said Asif ‘did his chances no harm with the innings he played’ against England.

“Asif was very impressive today. It’s no secret the one thing we’ve lacked is a bit of power hitting and he has the ability to do that for us. He did his chances no harm with the innings he played,” Arthur said after the game.

With three more ODIs left, Asif has a good chance of breaking into Pakistan’s World Cup squad. All the teams can alter their squads till May 23 without seeking any permission from the ICC.

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