Pakistan’s probable squad for Cricket World Cup 2019
In the the last series of Pakistan against Australia in UAE, they have tried their newcomers as CWC is just around the corner. Australia whitewashed Pakistan and won all the games with ease except for 4th one which the debutant Abid Ali and Wicket Keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan kept all the way in Pakistan’s favour and it was like a walk in the park until they did what they are famous for- lost everything in no time and could not finish the match. Anyhow they were winless in the series but found some positives as their batsman scored 5 centuries for the first time in a bilaterl series. Abid Ali who scored a century on the debut and became only the 3rd Pakistani to do so, after Saleem Elahi and Imam Ul Haq, made a very strong case for World Cup squad. He could be picked as a back-up opener. Mohammad Hasnain, the 18 years old speed gun, who was bowling some bullets in Pakistan Super League, was in everyone’s eye. Though he has not done anything great vs Australia, but given his age and experience no one would argue on his poor performance. They might pick him up for CWC squad as English coniditons and pitches could help him much more than those of UAE’s batting friendly pitches.
It is certain that Pakistan will send almost the same squad that helped them to lift the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time. Some changes are very much on the cards too. Shaheen Shah Afridi who impressed the most in recent times is definitely going to be the addition to that squad, while Usman Shinwari will also be hoping to fly with them to England. They haven’t tried Mohammad Amir after the first game vs Australia, in which he bowled 9 overs and went wicket-less once again for 59. They have not given him a second chance in the whole series. Now either they are confident to take him for the big tournament or they have already decided to drop him. He could play a pivotal role in the World Cup as he did play against India in the final of CT17, he was public’s man of the match for his memorable spell. Haris Sohail is almost locked for the squad who has a very strong and solid batting technique, he scored two centuries against Australia. Selectors would hope, having him and Babar in the same XI will strengthen their batting lineup. Mohammad Hafeez will be added to the squad but that totally depends on his fitness. Junaid Khan is also in good form and was an important player to helped them lifting the CT17 in England in June 2017, he usually does well whenever he gets a game or two in the series but he is in talks since his fitness has been a big concern for the selectors.
It will be very interesting to see if they go with Faheem Ashraf or not, he is not doing that bad with the ball in hand but very much “Fast Bowlers Packed Squad” might force selectors to drop him. The other thing which is going to be talked among the selectors and management, is who will be their back up opener, it will be either Shan Masood, who has not done anything in recent series against Australia, or Abid Ali who impressed the selectors most with a ton on the debut.
Players who are certain for the CWC squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (C&WK), Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Haris Sohail and Usman Shinwari.
Those who will fight for some remaining spots, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Abid Ali, Shan Masood. While Mohammad Hafeez’s selection might completely depend on his fitness.