Twitter Reactions: Pakistan drop Junaid Khan from their final World Cup squad

Twitter Reactions: Pakistan drop Junaid Khan from their final World Cup squad

This is the third World Cup in which Junaid Khan failed to get the green signal from the selectors.

Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Pakistan assessed their preliminary squad during the limited-overs series against England and following the 0-1 loss in the one-off T20I and 0-4 defeat in the ODIs, made some key changes. On Monday, the former World Cup champions left out bowlers Junaid Khan, batsman Abid Ali and bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf from their final World Cup squad and replaced them with Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali and Wahab Riaz, respectively.

Veteran spinner Yasir Shah, who was named as Shadab Khan’s replacement for the England series, was also released from the squad. Shadab was down with a virus and ruled out of the England series. Addressing a press conference, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq spoke on the revision of Pakistan’s World Cup squad combination, taking into account the fast bowlers’ performance as well as the nature of the wickets on which the games will be played at the mega event.

Seven out of eight innings that were played during the four ODIs between England and Pakistan saw an average score of 350 and the hosts went on to win four out of five games. The Pakistan side was disappointed with the bowling performance and hence the decision was taken to include two veteran pacers – Amir and Wahab. The 33-year-old Riaz had last played for Pakistan in June 2017.

“Junaid and Faheem had been originally preferred over a few other bowlers based on their recent performances and the investment we had made on them since 2017. They had the opportunity to cement their World Cup spots, but they were well below-par in the series against England even though they were up against the difficult challenge of bowling on placid and batsmen-friendly wickets,” Imzamam was quoted as saying.

The former Pakistan captain said that after understanding that the bat will continue to dominate the ball in the upcoming World Cup, Pakistan revised their strategy and fell back on the two experienced fast bowlers to back the youngsters in Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.

Amir was initially not picked in the WC squad but was there in the squad for the England series. He though featured in one game which was washed out as he was down with chickenpox.

Social media not happy with Junaid’s ouster

The social media though was not convinced with 29-year-old Junaid’s ouster. Though he went for runs (142 runs and two wickets) in the two ODIs that he played for England, the fans felt he should have been in the final squad for they felt he had it in him to boost the Pakistan bowling. Some also called him a poor victim of bad luck for he came close to playing the previous two World Cups as well but missed out eventually.

Here are some of the reactions on Junaid’s exclusion from Pakistan’s final World Cup squad