Pakistan announced 15-man World Cup squad on Wednesday, leaving out Fawad Alam, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Bilawal Bhatti and including pace bowler Sohail Khan and leg spinner Yasir shah.
The 15-man squad includes two specialist openers, five fast bowlers, and three allrounders in Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz and Haris and five specialist batsmen. Pakistan had gone with just two specialist openers Ahmed Shahzad and Muhammad Hafeez. Defending the selection Chief Selector said Sarfaraz Ahmed wicket keeper batsman would be used as a back-up force. There had been plenty of speculation over the last week regarding the selection of Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal, but the selectors decided to stick with younger prospects, with Haris Sohail being included for a spot in the middle order.
The players who were part of the New Zealand series but excluded from the World Cup squad are: Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Nasir Jamshed, Sohail Tanvir and Zulfiqar Babar. Umar Gul and Bilawal Bhatti had been withdrawn from the New Zealand series because of injury and were also not included in the World Cup squad. Younis Khan has been given the nod considering his supreme form in the test matches although his performance was average in the ODI’s against Kiwis. In the absence of champion spin bowler and master of ‘doosra’ Saeed Ajmal and without the bowling services of Hafeez, major burden of spin bowling in the World Cup would be on the shoulders of veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi, leg-spinner Yasir Shah and Haris Sohail. Fast bowler Sohail Khan’s inclusion in the final 15, who last played international cricket in 2011, is a bit surprise but considering his domestic performances his inclusion is justified.
Final fifteen have been finalized, putting aside all the differences, we all should support our team to repeat the history of 1992 World cup when we ruled the world of cricket in Australia and New Zeeland.