ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan team chosen with an eye on the future


As expected opener Nasir Jamshed and pacer Samiullah Niazi were named in a 15-man Pakistan squad for the first two matches of the forthcoming one-day series against Zimbabwe on Friday.

Promising all-rounder Kamran Hussain also joined them as the third uncapped player in the line-up but highly-rated pacer Sohail Khan was left out because of fitness reasons. Having recovered from an ankle injury, Shoaib Malik was retained as captain for the five-match series to be played from January 21 to February 2.

“We have decided to put some talented youngsters in the team in a bid to try them out at the international level,” chief selectors Salahuddin Ahmed told ‘The News’. “These boys have been doing well at the domestic level while two of them (Nasir and Samiullah) were really impressive in a four-day match against the Zimbabweans,” he added.

Nasir Jamshed, a Lahore-born opener, played a polished knock of 182 in the Patron’s XI’s thumping victory over the Zimbabweans in the four-day game here earlier this week while Samiullah collected a five-wicket haul.

The selectors want Nasir to open the innings with Salman Butt in the first one-dayer on Monday. But skipper Malik appears to be in the favour of Butt having wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal as his opening partner in the game to be played here at the National Stadium.

But according to the PCB policy which says that the selectors have the final say while selecting the playing eleven during home matches, it would be the selection committee that would be calling the shots.

Samiullah, a talented left-arm medium pacer, is also expected to make his debut in Karachi, becoming a part of a pace attack that would include Rao Ifikhar Anjum and Sohail Tanvir.Pakistan have overlooked three of their leading pacers Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul and Mohammad Sami for the series either due to fitness problems and disciplinary issues or indifferent form.

Salahuddin said that the squad has been picked with an eye on the future. “We have to think about the future but in the team meantime, the immediate task at hand is to win matches, which is why we have not sacrificed our core squad,” he said. The chief selector said that the squad was finalised after developing a consensus with Malik and team coach Geoff Lawson. “Both Malik and Lawson back the selections,” he said.

Salahuddin said that the national selectors will make some changes in the squad after the second one-dayer pencilled in for January 24 in Hyedarabad. “We want to bring in some more young players but will only take a final decision after witnessing the performance of the team in the first two games.”

Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Younis Khan, Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Alam, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Samiullah Niazi, Kamran Hussain and Sarfraz Ahmed.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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