ICL: Indian Cricket League

Rehman may replace Hafeez for next ODI


Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman is expected to play in the second one-dayer against South Africa in Lahore tomorrow, replacing all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in the playing eleven.

‘The News’ learnt here through reliable sources that the national selectors are not happy with the performance of Hafeez as an opener and believe that wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal can do a better job at the top of the batting order.

Sources said that the selectors have decided to induct Abdul Rehman in the playing eleven because they believe Pakistan need another specialist bowler in the absence of their main pacer Mohammad Asif, who is nursing an elbow injury.

Asif missed the first one-dayer in Lahore which Pakistan lost by 45 runs on Thursday. He will also be missing the next one-dayer and may in fact have to sit out of the entire ODI series that concludes with the final game in Karachi on October 29.

According to the sources, Rehman will be brought back in the squad with the hopes that the Sialkot-born spinner will manage to carry his good Test form into the one-dayers and help consolidate the hosts� bowling attack that looks pretty ordinary in the absence of top class bowlers like Asif and Shoaib Akhtar, who is currently under suspension over misconduct.

Rehman, 27, made an impressive Test debut in Karachi earlier this month where he took eight wickets in a lost cause. He was retained for the Lahore Test but could only take three wickets. He has played five one-dayers, taking seven wickets.

Pakistan team�s think-tank is of the view that Rehman might help contain the South Africans, who posted 294 in the first one-dayers with AB de Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs smashing centuries.

Rehman will most likely be replacing the under-performing Hafeez in the playing line-up. The all-rounder bowled ten overs for 44 runs on Thursday but flopped as an opener, falling just for six runs.

Hafeez is a talented batsman with the additional skills of an off-spinner but has been quite inconsistent since making his international debut four years back. He was dropped for the Lahore Test after failing to impress in the first Test in Karachi.

Sources said that Pakistan have decided to bring back Shoaib Akhtar in the squad for the fifth one-dayer in Karachi to bolster the pace attack. Shoaib, 32, is serving a ban for hitting Mohammad Asif with a cricket bat and other episodes of indiscipline but will be available for national duty after the fourth one-dayer against South Africa.

Source:Cricket News

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