Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. Credits: Twitter

Pakistan will rest their pace bowler Shaheen Afridi in the upcoming ODI matches against the Netherlands this week. The Babar Azam-led side is scheduled to play three One-Day Internationals matches against the Dutchmen in Rotterdam.

The first ODI will kick start on August 16 with the second match to be played on August 18. The final game will be played on August 21 before the team departs for United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Asia Cup 2022.

We are looking at Shaheen Afridi’s long-term fitness: Babar Azam

Pakistan is paired with arch-rivals India in Group A with one more team to join them from the qualifiers. In order to keep the 22-year-old left-arm pacer fit and fresh for the continental tournament, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said they will rest Afridi for at least two games in the Netherlands ODIs.

“We’re looking long-term at his fitness and health. We want him to play a game against the Netherlands if he’s fit and be ready for the Asia Cup,” Babar said in a press conference before leaving for the Netherlands.

Shaheen Afridi Babar Azam
Shaheen Afridi Babar Azam. Image: Twitter

Hasan Ali will make a strong comeback hopefully: Babar Azam

In Afridi’s absence, it will be an opportunity for out-of-form Hasan Ali to regain his mojo ahead of the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup. Babar backed the Islamabad United pacer to come back with full energy and also talked about other bowling options in the team.

Our fast-bowling bench strength is excellent. They’ve now got an opportunity to showcase their skills. This is how you expand your pool,” Babar said.

Babar Azam, Hasan Ali
Babar Azam, Hasan Ali. (Photo: Twitter)

“Yes, he’s (Ali) not in form, but it’s not like he has to prove anything. Domestic cricket is coming up. He’ll play that and make a strong comeback hopefully,” he added.

Asia Cup 2022: Shaheen Afridi Likely To Miss Couple Of ODIs Against Netherlands; Focus On Fitness For Asia Cup 2022

Pakistan will play against India on August 28 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, where they posted an emphatic 10-wicket win against their neighbours for the first time in any World Cup event.

Also Read: Asia Cup 2022: There Is No Need To Be Afraid Of Shaheen Afridi: Danish Kaneria Says Of India’s Top Three Facing Pakistan’s Star