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ICC World Cup 2019 | Pakistan Add Amir, Wahab, Asif to World Cup Squad

Cricketnext Staff |May 20, 2019, 10:57 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Pakistan Add Amir, Wahab, Asif to World Cup Squad

Pakistan have added Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Asif Ali to their World Cup 2019 squad, dropping Junaid Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Abid Ali from the provisional squad.

Amir and Asif were a part of the Pakistan squad during their recently concluded ODI series in England. Amir played one match before being sidelined with chicken pox, but has now fully recovered. Asif grabbed his opportunity, scoring two half-centuries in four innings to seal his spot.

The surprise inclusion is Wahab. The left-arm pacer has not played an ODI since the group stage match against India in the Champions Trophy 2017. He last played for Pakistan in a Test against Australia in October last year.

Amir too has been poor since the Champions Trophy final against India in 2017. From that game, where he picked three wickets to lead Pakistan to title victory, he has played 15 matches picking up only five wickets at an average of 92.6.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the nature of wickets in England and the performance of their pacers in the ODI series forced Pakistan to choose the experience of Wahab and Amir. England scored 373/3, 359/4 (in 44.5 overs), 341/7 (in 49.3 overs) and 351/9 in the four completed matches.

“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 Word 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," he explained.

“After it became obvious that the bat is likely to dominate the ball in the World Cup, we revisited our strategy and reverted to the pace of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. Furthermore, Amir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience to back and support the relatively inexperienced but immensely talent Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.

"The lack of potency of our frontline bowlers in the recent ODI series against England meant that a change was needed. In addition, we now know that we will encounter batting wickets throughout the World Cup campaign.

"The combination of both these elements, meant that we believed that right now, utilising the World Cup experience and knowledge of Wahab was the correct choice."

Wahab has overall played 79 ODIs picking up 102 wickets.

"Wahab has been training and playing club cricket, and the player of his calibre will not face much problem in adapting and adjusting to the gruelling demands of the World Cup. In addition, playing in the World Cup warm up matches, bowling his quota, will have him match-ready," Inzamam said.

"The bowling unit during the England ODIs has not clicked as anticipated or expected; if we have at our disposal two vastly experienced pace duo of Amir and Wahab, then it will be foolish not to include them."

In the England series, Junaid picked up only two wickets from two games at an economy of 7.88. Ashraf played three matches for one wicket at an economy of 7.57.

Abid Ali played only one game, scoring five runs. Inzamam explained that the forms of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq meant they went for the middle order option in Asif over the reserve opener in Abid.

Full Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
NZ
6 5 0 1 11 +1.30
2
AUS
6 5 1 0 10 +0.84
3
IND
5 4 0 1 9 +0.80
4
ENG
6 4 2 0 8 +1.45
5
BAN
7 3 3 1 7 -0.13
6
SL
6 2 2 2 6 -1.11
7
PAK
6 2 3 1 5 -1.26
8
WI
6 1 4 1 3 +0.19
9
SA
7 1 5 1 3 -0.32
10
AFG
7 0 7 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more