We have selected a three-dimensional squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq

We have selected a three-dimensional squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq

Pakistan excluded players who even with a name have failed to produce expected performances and didn't shy away from backing youngsters instead.

Inzamam-ul-Haq
Pakistani cricket chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq, on Thursday, probably took a leaf out of India’s squad announcement as he named the 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup. The reigning Champions Trophy holders left out Mohammad Amir from their squad which can be altered till 23. Amir starred the last time Pakistan visited England, claiming the Player of the Match award in the CT final in 2017 as his side defeated India to seal the cup. But since then, the left-arm pacer has gone wicketless in nine out of 14 ODIs.

In another surprising omission, the Inzamam-led selection panel chose newcomer Abid Ali over Shan Masood as Pakistan’s back-up opener. Abid has played only two ODIs, both in Pakistan’s recent clean-sweep by Australia, and scored a hundred on debut.  Masood also debuted in that series, and made a half-century in its final game but managed just 61 runs in the other four innings.

In another bold but quite expected decision, Pakistan included teenage fast-bowler Mohammad Hasnain in the team. Hasnain turned heads with his pace during this year’s Pakistan Super League. In fact, Shane Watson had rated Hasnain as the fastest 18-year-old he’d ever faced. Apart from this, the selectors did not spring too many surprises as Pakistan look to replicate their Champions Trophy heroics.

But even before the start of the World Cup, Inzamam has perhaps set the tone by using the word three-dimensional. The term has been hogging the limelight ever since Ambati Rayudu took a sly dig at India’s chief selector MSK Prasad after being left out of the World Cup squad.

“We have selected a three-dimensional squad, which gives the captain a wide range of options of whatever game plan he chooses on a match day. We have experienced batters, backed up by bowlers with plenty of variety and variation to exploit any type of conditions,” Inzamam said as quoted by Pakistani journalist Saj Sadiq in his tweet.

India and Pakistan are set to lock horns against each other on June 16 in Manchester.

Pakistan Squad for the World Cup:

Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez (subject to fitness), Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Sohail

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