Asad Shafiq was dropped from the New Zealand bound squad that Misbah-ul-Haq announced today and hence, here is a look at the development.
Why Asad Shafiq Was Dropped From Pakistan’s New Zealand Bound Squad?
Asad hasn’t really performed well during the last year and a half and therefore, his exclusion was on the cards.
Who Else Has Missed Out?
Shoaib Malik and Mohd. Amir are other notable omissions from the 35 member squad. Nevertheless, both weren’t selected to play during the home series against Zimbabwe and thus, the decision was somewhat expected.
What Else Is Notable?
Babar Azam has replaced Azhar Ali as Test captain and hence, the star batsman will lead Pakistan across all formats during the tour. It is also worth mentioning here that Shadab Khan has retained vice-captaincy in the limited overs formats while Mohd. Rizwan has been appointed as the Test vice-captain.
Also interesting to note is that former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf have survived the scare of being left behind. While Sarfaraz’s century during Quaid-e-Azam trophy seems to have done the trick for him; Fakhar despite his poor form has been given another opportunity. On the other hand why Faheem Ashraf has been picked despite another string of poor performances is a question that perhaps even Misbah-ul-Haq can’t answer.
So, What Does The 35 Member Squad Look Like?
Apart from a three match T20 and a two match Test series Pakistan’s Shaheens are also scheduled for an A tour during the trip. Hence, it is no surprise that Misbah has named almost three dozen cricketers for the trip. The list of selected players then is as below.
Openers (six): Abid Ali (Central Punjab/Lahore Qalandars), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Lahore Qalandars), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan/Peshawar Zalmi), Shan Masood (Soutern Punjab/Multan Sultans) and Zeeshan Malik (Northern)
Middle-order batsmen (11): Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab/Karachi Kings), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Danish Aziz (Sindh), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Haider Ali (Shaheens vice-captain, Northern/Peshawar Zalmi), Haris Sohail (Balochistan), Hussain Talat (Southern Punjab/Islamabad United), Iftikhar Ahmed (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Karachi Kings), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Khushdil Shah (Southern Punjab/Multan Sultans) and Mohammad Hafeez (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Peshawar Zalmi)
Wicketkeepers (three): Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, Tests) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Karachi Kings), Rohail Nazir (Shaheens captain, Northern/Multan Sultans) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh/Quetta Gladiators)
Spinners (five): Imad Wasim (Northern/Karachi Kings), Shadab Khan (vice-captain, T20Is) (Northern/Islamabad United), Usman Qadir (Central Punjab/Multan Sultans), Yasir Shah (Balochistan/Peshawar Zalmi) and Zafar Gohar (Central Punjab/Islamabad United)
Fast bowlers (10): Amad Butt (Balochistan/Islamabad United), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab/Islamabad United), Haris Rauf (Northern/Lahore Qalandars), Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab/Multan Sultans), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh/Quetta Gladiators), Mohammad Musa (Northern/Islamabad United), Naseem Shah (Central Punjab/Quetta Gladiators), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Lahore Qalandars), Sohail Khan (Sindh/Quetta Gladiators) and Wahab Riaz (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Peshawar Zalmi)