Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been serving as a launchpad for young cricketers ever since its inception in 2016. A number of players have graduated from the league to play for Pakistan. Some of these players include Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Rumman Raees, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
With the Cricket World Cup approaching near, all the teams are mulling over their 15-man squads for the biggest cricketing event in the world.
Earlier, Pakistan team management had decided to announce a new-look squad for the upcoming series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates. The decision to rest key players ahead of the World Cup was to test new faces to see who fits in the squad for the grand event.
Pakistan Squad for Australia Series 2019
Before discussing why some of the youngsters got a call-up for the national side, let’s have a look at the squad for the upcoming series.
- Shoaib Malik (c)
- Abid Ali
- Imad Wasim
- Muhammad Rizwan (wk)
- Muhammad Hasnain
- Faheem Ashraf
- Haris Sohail
- Umar Akmal
- Shan Masood
- Muhammad Amir
- Saad Ali
- Muhammad Abbass
- Usman Shinwari
- Yasir Shah
In the absence of the regular captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik will lead Pakistan in the 5-match ODI series. Umar Akmal has also been called back for his decent performances in PSL 2019. He scored 277 runs at 34.62 with a best of 75* to play his part in Quetta Gladiators’ triumph. Shan Masood has been retained to see whether he can be a good fit for the World Cup squad or not. He was decent enough with the bat in the previous tour to South Africa.
Let’s have a look at the numbers of the new players who will be wearing the green shirts against Australia.
- Mohammad Hasnain
The fiery right-arm pacer who regularly clicked 145+ kph, and who bowled the fastest delivery in the recently concluded PSL 2019 has been added to the squad for his raw pace and ability to take wickets at crucial moments. The Man of the Match award in the PSL final for his match-winning spell of bowling is reflective of his big match temperament and it bodes well for Pakistan cricket going forward.
DJ Bravo "In Mohammad Hasnain, Pakistan has a world-class international bowler. He was the difference in the game today" #PSLFinal
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) March 17, 2019
The rookie speedster bagged 12 wickets in just 7 innings in PSL.
While he is still new to the domestic circuit, his extreme pace can work well for Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup 2019. Pakistan has always won big tournaments banking on the performances of surprise inclusions. Take the example of the 1992 World Cup where Inzimam-ul-Haq proved to be a massive success. How can we forget Fakhar Zaman’s performance in the final and Hasan Ali’s breathtaking display of fast bowling in the Champions Trophy?
An interesting stat is that Hasnain has induced 31% false shots in PSL, the best is for Tymall Mills with 37%.
Mohammad Hasnain has induced 31% false shots in #HBLPSL 2019. Of the bowlers to have bowled 10+ overs this season, only Tymal Mills (37%) has induced false shots more often. #QGvPZ https://t.co/HBlLzuTwB6
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 17, 2019
- Abid Ali
While many of you don’t know the name, Abid Ali has been a regular feature in the Pakistan A side in recent times. For his consistent performances at the domestic circuit as well as for Pakistan A, he has been given a chance to represent Pakistan against Australia. How he makes his case for World Cup selection, is totally up to him.
In 91 List A games, the 31-year old has scored 3209 runs at an average of 38.66 with a career-best of 209*.
He has also scored 17 first-class centuries along with 31 fifties in 189 innings. While the conversion ratio is low, his recent form has prompted the selectors to give him a go. His recent outing for Pakistan A against England Lions in December 2018 saw him emerge as the leading run-scorer in the tests with 518 runs from 8 innings at an average of 74.00. He was also the second highest run-getter against New Zealand A in October with 257 runs at an average of 85.66.
- Saad Ali
Saad Ali is another talented left-handed batsman who was called up to the national squad for tests in Ireland and England in 2018 however, he didn’t get a game. He was a part of the squad for test series against New Zealand as well, however, he was called back to Pakistan A squad for unofficial tests where he scored at an average of 72.00 with a best of 144.
Against England Lions and New Zealand A, he amassed 285 runs at 71.25 in the unofficial ODIs.
He has also been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. In List A games, he enjoys a decent average of 46.08, whereas, in first-class matches, he scores at an average of 46.81. He was a part of Quetta Gladiators, but, didn’t get a game.
- Mohammad Abbas
The 29-year old fast bowler from Sialkot, Mohammad Abbas needs no introduction. His success in the longest format of the game has earned him accolades from cricketers across the globe. He rose to prominence for his 10-wicket haul against Australia on a dead UAE pitch, prompting the modern legend, Dale Steyn to call him the number one test bowler in the world.
The bowler Dale Steyn sees as a future No. 1! The story of Pakistan's Mohammad Abbas, who's made a spectacular start to his Test career pic.twitter.com/aaH8vGBnAu
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 17, 2018
His numbers speak for himself at the test level, however, he hasn’t played limited overs cricket for Pakistan. In 41 first-class matches, he has 63 wickets with a best of 4/31. His latest stint with Multan Sultans might have persuaded the selectors to test him ahead of the mega event. His tight bowling on lively England pitches can come in handy for Pakistan.
Do you think any of these new entries will get a chance to feature in the ODIs against Aussies, and will they be able to perform according to the expectations? Let us know in the comments.
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