Finally, Pakistan named their squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2018. They made a surprising decision to leave out their premium all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. Further, the squad has got many interesting inclusions and exclusions as well. For instance the picking of exciting fast bowler Shaheen Afridi.
Once again, they announced a squad that has availed the services of solid bowlers. Interestingly, they once again left out speedster Wahab Riaz, who has been impressive across the world owing to the franchise cricket.
Mohammed Hafeez misses out, Shan Masood in for Pakistan:
They went with their in-form openers Imam Ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman for the opening slot followed by Babar Azam at the crucial number three position.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed got a lot of players to fill in those middle-order shoes.
The experienced Shoaib Malik will be the spin all-rounding option while Haris Sohail and Faheem Ashraf are the fast bowling all-rounders. The surprise addition has been the inclusion of Shan Masood ahead of Hafeez.
Asif Ali, who showed his calibre against Zimbabwe and Australia had retained his place while spin duo Shadab Khan and Mohammed Nawaz will be key at their adopted home in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Meanwhile, the bowling department looks rock solid with gun bowlers being named in the squad.
The premium bowler Mohammed Amir and Hasan Ali will be joined by Junaid Khan, Usman Shenwari and Shaheen respectively. The inclusion of Shaheen is grabbing the headlines.
However, the selection of newbies in the teams looks like Pakistan Super League (PSL) played a key role in it. Meanwhile, the exclusion of Hafeez for Masood will become the hot debate as well.
All in all, the squad looks pretty decent with all the based being covered for Asia Cup 2018. Being the young unit, Sarfraz has got the luxury of gun fielders inside and outside of the 30-yard circle.
Here is the squad for Asia Cup 2018 which includes Shaheen Afridi:
Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Shaheen Afridi
Pakistan 16 member squad for Asia Cup 2018 announced.
Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain)
Imam ul Haq
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 4, 2018