Pakistan Add Amir, Wahab, Asif to World Cup Squad

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Pakistan have added Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Asif Ali to their World Cup 2019 squad, dropping Junaid Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Abid Ali from the provisional squad.

Amir and Asif were a part of the Pakistan squad during their recently concluded ODI series in England. Amir played one match before being sidelined with chicken pox, but has now fully recovered. Asif grabbed his opportunity, scoring two half-centuries in four innings to seal his spot.

The surprise inclusion is Wahab. The left-arm pacer has not played an ODI since the group stage match against India in the Champions Trophy 2017. He last played for Pakistan in a Test against Australia in October last year.

Amir too has been poor since the Champions Trophy final against India in 2017. From that game, where he picked three wickets to lead Pakistan to title victory, he has played 15 matches picking up only five wickets at an average of 92.6.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the nature of wickets in England and the performance of their pacers in the ODI series forced Pakistan to choose the experience of Wahab and Amir. England scored 373/3, 359/4 (in 44.5 overs), 341/7 (in 49.3 overs) and 351/9 in the four completed matches.

“After it became obvious that the bat is likely to dominate the ball in the World Cup, we revisited our strategy and reverted to the pace of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. Furthermore, Amir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience to back and support the relatively inexperienced but immensely talent Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.

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Vishwas Gupta