Pakistan’s new Head Coach and Chief Selector, Misbah-ul-Haq announced the names of 20 players, from which the squad for ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka will be selected. The names include: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c and wk), Babar Azam (vc), Abid Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hassan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.
These players held training sessions before the commencement of Quaid-e-Azam trophy and the fitness tests were conducted. As the actual squad for the series is yet to be finalized, here are the few things to keep in check.
Starting with the openers, Pakistan stuck with Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq for more than one and half a year now and they have not done a bad job. With Ahmed Shehzad and Abid Ali named in the squad as well, there will be a close contest between them for the opening slots.
Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed will be occupying the middle-order with Umar Akmal might be chipping in the late middle-position. Mohammad Rizwan also looks a strong candidate to make it to the list of selected players. Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik’s absence will affect Pakistan but still they have the players who are good enough to do well in the middle.
Talking about the all-rounders, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan looks priority options for Pakistan. Faheem Ashraf’s form has been a concern for Pakistan still they decided to keep him in the 20 probables, although his position in the final squad is yet to be confirmed.
With Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir dedicating themselves to the white-ball cricket only, there is a strong possibility that Misbah will stick with the two veteran fast bowlers and bring in Mohammad Hasnain and Usman Khan Shinwari as the other fast-bowling options.