Final 15 announced: Sohail, Ehsan the aces up Pakistan’s sleeve

Published: January 8, 2015
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Skipper Misbahul Haq (middle) will be hoping to win the World Cup and may bank on the likes of relatively inexperienced players Sohail Khan (left ) and Sohaib Maqsood (right). PHOTO: AFP

Skipper Misbahul Haq (middle) will be hoping to win the World Cup and may bank on the likes of relatively inexperienced players Sohail Khan (left ) and Sohaib Maqsood (right). PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Fast-bowler Sohail Khan has forced his way into the Pakistan 15-man World Cup squad on the basis of his performances in the domestic cricket, while the Moin Khan led selection committee has kept faith in the abilities of Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood for the mega event.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah has also been added to the touring party as the think tank feels he could prove to be a difficult customer in Australia and New Zealand with the extra bounce on offer for spinners.

Meanwhile, young pacer Ehsan Adil has been inducted due to his ability to move the ball both ways, while Umar Gul failed to satisfy the selectors with his fitness in ongoing Pentangular Cup.

The squad looks balanced as the selectors opted to go with specialist pacers instead of fast-bowling all-rounders sucha as Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti.

The only major talking point in the 15-man squad is the overlooking of Fawad Alam, who has scored 948 runs in 35 ODIs at an average of 45.14.

Moin explained that Bhatti and Anwar were overlooked because the selectors wanted to go with specialists. As for Fawad Alam, he stated: “We only had 15 slots and it is unfortunate that Fawad could not get into one of those. He is a fighter and there is a lot of cricket coming up after the World Cup so he is in our plans for those series.”

Meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmed will be used as the third opener if required as the selection committee could not agree on a suitable reserve opener.

“Sarfraz is a very positive player and he can succeed even as an opener in Australia and New Zealand because of his positive mindset. As far as Umar and Sohaib are concerned, they provide us with dynamism and we need players down in the middle order who can play big shots,” explained Moin. “Shoaib Malik was considered but we kept faith with Haris because he has done well as an all-rounder.”

PCB high-ups were against Malik, Kamran inclusion

Malik and Kamran Akmal were not selected because senior PCB officials were unconvinced with their track record at previous major events.

“The PCB top brass was not in favour of Malik and Kamran because they haven’t done well in big tournaments,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “Their track record was kept in mind and selectors were told to prefer younger blood over them.”

To fine-tune preparations, the PCB has decided to organise a short training camp which has been scheduled from January 13 to January 17 at the Gaddafi Stadium
in Lahore, while the team will leave for New Zealand on January 21.

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Waqar, Misbah unhappy with final 15 

The selectors may have done what was right by them but head coach Waqar Younis and skipper Misbahul Haq are not happy with the final 15.

Chief selector Moin Khan said that the recommendations of the coach and captain were among the foremost factors for selecting of the squad. “The squad has been selected considering the conditions of Australia and New Zealand, the recent performances in international and domestic cricket and the suggestions made by captain and head coach,” said Moin while announcing the squad at the National Stadium. “This is the best possible squad from the available resources, and the selectors believe it has the requisite talent and skill set to recapture the World Cup after 22 years.”

However, three of Misbah and Waqar’s recommendations were overlooked. “Waqar and Misbah wanted the selectors to include Nasir Jamshed, Sohail Tanvir, Bilawal Bhatti and Wahab Riaz but only Wahab got the nod,” a senior PCB official close to selection process told The Express Tribune. “The selectors didn’t include Bhatti, Tanvir or Jamshed and both coach and captain aren’t happy at all on the omissions. But we’re pleased that the selection committee has done a good job by giving an opportunity to someone like Sohail Khan who did well in the domestic cricket.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th,  2015.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Sam
    Jan 8, 2015 - 1:42AM

    Pak is focusing too much on unproven bowlers…it will be batsman who will struggle in conditions. Should have picked Fawad Alam.

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  • Abdullah
    Jan 8, 2015 - 4:18AM

    sohail khan could be the surprise package for opposition teams at the WC..

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  • Proud to be Muslim
    Jan 8, 2015 - 11:59AM

    @Sam:
    Fawad is although a fighter but he has nothing technique. This sort of player would not be successful under the conditions of Australia and New Zealand Secondly, he don’t have big shots at all and in today’s era this type of batsmen can make 50s or 100s but then your team could only score around 240-250.

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  • Imran Husain
    Jan 8, 2015 - 1:03PM

    This is a lopsided side. Emphasis on mediocre bowlers is not the answer. Pakistan faces teams with batsmen having avg of 52 plus. These bowlers cannot get them out and unfortunately we do not have a run machine. Extra bowlers taken to cover two perpetually unhealthy (that is the only word) sportsmen. Miracles are not always doled out by simply banking on Divine intervention.

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  • fus
    Jan 8, 2015 - 7:47PM

    @Proud to be Muslim – Please go and check the strike reate of Fawad Alam, this is one day not T20. He though he is not a big hitter, he strick rate is good. Btw how many times have your team scored more than 250 in last few series with or without Fawad Alam. He is one of the very few players who can take pressure otherwise you have no one.

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