Aamir returns as Pakistan announces squad for SA ODIs

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From Sorts Correspondent

LAHORE:  Fast bowler Muhammad Aamir and wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan made a comeback in the national squad as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against South Africa.  The series will start in Port Elizabeth on 19 January.

There are five changes from the Test side, which is presently in Johannesburg preparing for the third and final Test. Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas and Yasir Shah have been replaced by Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, Usman Shinwari and Imad Wasim, respectively.

The side will be led by Sarfaraz Ahmed and includes three openers (Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood), four middle-order batsmen (Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat), two all-rounders (Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf), one spinner (Shadab Khan), four fast bowlers (Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Usman Shinwari) and Mohammad Rizwan as the second wicketkeeper/batsman. There are three changes from the 15-man ODI side, which drew with New Zealand in the UAE after the final ODI was washed out. Asif Ali, Haris Sohail and Junaid Khan have been replaced by Mohammad Amir, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood.

“The selected team is a unanimous choice of the selection panel, including Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur. While selecting the squad, we have tried to maintain consistency, taking into consideration player performances in white-ball cricket as well as looking ahead to the upcoming ODI challenges, including the World Cup,” chairman of Pakistan’s cricket selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

Commenting on the non-selection of fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, Inzamam said: “He is very much in our scheme of things, but we have to manage his workload intelligently and smartly. He has just made a return following an injury, and we would like to give him sufficient rest before considering him for future assignments.

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