It’s going to be an exciting year for Pakistan cricket as the team will face a tough South African opposition in the coming days. Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq announced the complete ODI squad for the upcoming series today.
The news which has garnered all the attention is something else:
Islamabad United’s frontman Hussain Talat has been included in the ODI squad and if he is given a chance to play then the star player will finally have a well deserved ODI debut.
The seam bowling all-rounder has shown phenomenal performances for Islamabad United in Pakistan Super League in the recent past.
Hussain Talat statistics
Hussain hasn’t worn the ODI cap till now but he made his T20 debut in 2018 against Windies. In his debut match, he won the man of the match award for his comprehensive performance.
So far he has played 11 T20 Internationals for Pakistan and has scored 273 runs.
He has also played brilliantly well in first class, having shown his batting talent in 33 first-class matches. He has successfully made more than 1300 first-class runs.
It’s not just his batting which makes him a favorite but also his ability to bowl well in pressure situations. In the 11 international T20s he has played, Hussain has taken 4 wickets. In first-class cricket, he has 33 wickets to his name.
Why Hussain Talat?
Hussain Talat’s selection seems pivotal at this point because Pakistan is in desperate need of quality all-rounders. The lack of depth in our lower order has already made us suffer a lot in Test cricket. The need for good all-rounders is even greater in ODI and T20 where the game could change instantly.
Hussain has also proved his ability to hit the ball hard in PSL. After the departure of legends like Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mehmood, Pakistan has not been able to find a good pace bowling all-rounder who can increase the run rate in the death overs and also provide the captain with an additional bowling option.
Hussain seems to be the long-awaited find, and not to forget Faheem Ashraf, another recent find who has also made his presence felt at the grandest stages of them all. Hussain’s inclusion in the team has strengthened the competition between the two all-rounders.
Main changes in ODI squad
Apart from Hussain Talat, there are three main changes from the 15-man ODI side, which drew with New Zealand in the UAE after the final ODI was washed out.
Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, and Junaid Khan have been replaced by Mohammad Amir, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood.
The side will be led by Sarfaraz Ahmed and includes:
- Three openers (Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood)
- Four middle-order batsmen (Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat),
- Two all-rounders (Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf)
- One spinner (Shadab Khan)
- Four fast bowlers (Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, and Usman Shinwari)
- Two wicketkeepers (Sarfaraz Ahmed(c) and Mohammad Rizwan).
Hopes are high
Pakistan is currently ranked #5 on the ICC ODI Ranking and losing from South Africa could endanger their position. It is vital for Pakistan to bounce back in the ODI series to lift the morale of the team.
Will Sarfaraz be successful in the new stint? Perhaps it is too early to decide.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Let us know in the comments about this selection of the ODI team.
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Picture Credits: JKSportsTime