Pakistan World Cup Squad: Pakistan cricket on Monday named the final 15-man squad, which include the names of experienced fast bowlers like Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in the squad.
After a pathetic fast-bowling performance from Pakistan in the recently held series against England, Chief selectors Inzamam Ul Haq has made some surprising inclusions in the Pakistan squad for the World Cup scheduled to be held in England from 30th May 2019.
Surprisingly, fast bowlers such as Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have been included in the 15-member squad on Monday. Wahab Riaz hasn’t played a single ODI in the past couple of years. He played his last One-day International on 4th June 2017 in the group stage game against India in the Champions Trophy, which Pakistan lost by 124 runs on the DLS method.
Players with the likes of Junaid Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Abid Ali who were included in the list of the Provisional squad have been excluded as said by Inzamam-ul-Haq.
“Whatever you plan, you keep the room to review it as well,” Inzamam said at a press interaction in Lahore. “I don’t compromise on the team’s requirements. If he (Wahab) wasn’t originally picked in the squad, it didn’t that he had been discarded forever.
“I understand he wasn’t close to the 23 probably named for the World Cup, but no one is in the squad without a reason. The rationale behind bringing him back is his ability to reverse swing the ball. Nobody expected the pitches in the UK to be flat even in the early season there (during the recent ODI series against England). So we have realized that and reviewed our selection.”
Perhaps, nobody expected Wahab Riaz to show up in the World Cup Squad as it has come as a surprise inclusion to the netizens around the world. Wahab has only played 17 lists A games since his exclusion from the team and has picked up 27 wickets at an average of 28.40 with an economy of 5.18. Given the English conditions and Pakistan below-par bowling display in England, Wahab got the nod because of his ability to reverse swing the ball.
“We need to have bowlers who are good with the old ball and can defy the conditions and also have experience under their belt. Wahab has played in Tests recently and he was dropped on the basis of his form. But he did well in domestic cricket,” explained Inzamam.
“But it was the requirement of the team and the conditions there in England, which have changed drastically. Bringing him it doesn’t reflect any panic, but it’s a decision purely based on the requirement.” He added.
Another surprising inclusion, Mohammad Amir too wasn’t included in the Preliminary World Cup squad and was asked to prove his mettle in the recently held series against England. However, prior to the series, the left-arm pacer found himself ruling out of the series after going down with chickenpox. Amir’s performance with the ball lately has been great either. The left-hander has picked just two wickets in his last ten games at a disgusting average of 148.50. However, despite all the numbers, Pakistan management rates highly for the 27-year old bowler who they think is far ahead of all other bowlers in the squad.
“If you analyze the series, if the Pakistan bowlers were punished, so were the England bowlers,” Inzamam argued. “So whatever the conditions, we need experienced bowlers, and Amir is very much ahead of every bowler we have. He was originally never discarded either, but we kept him with the team for the England series.” Former Pakistan skipper said.
Inzamam did give explanations on the two major exclusions in the form of Junaid and Faheem, saying that the duo has nothing wrong but the current English conditions have forced them to remove their name from the squad.
“Junaid and Faheem are dropped but that doesn’t mean they are not good. But we think players like Amir and Wahab are more suitable for these conditions, which is why we have preferred them.” He said.
“I see my team at No. 1,” stressed Inzamam. “I am sure all teams are working hard for the World Cup, but I think Pakistan has the capability to win the World Cup.” He concluded.