ستمبر 26, 2014

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Selectors drop Younus from ODI squad for Australia series

Pakistan cricket selectors, led by former Test wicketkeeper Moin Khan, on Wednesday dropped veteran batsman Younus Khan from a Pakistan one-day international squad named for the upcoming Australia series to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month. The national selection committee took the decision keeping in view the performance of Younus. Younus made an ODI comeback last month, during the Sri Lanka tour, not having played 50-over cricket for Pakistan since March 2013. He scored 3 in his only innings of the series before he had to fly home following the death of his nephew. The selectors’ decision to drop Younis is a blow to his stated aim of playing in next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Chief selector Moin told reporters it would be hard for the batsman to be considered for the World Cup squad. In Younus’ place, the selectors have brought back middle-order batsman Umar Amin and Asad Shafiq. “Our experiment with Younus in the ODI series in Sri Lanka backfired,” Moin said. “Now all have unanimously decided to look ahead to our future with youngsters. His services for Pakistan are commendable but now we have to take a step forward and he is also out of contention for the 2015 World Cup.” Australia and New Zealand will host the World Cup from February 14-March 29 next year. Younus, despite having an impressive batting average of 51 in 91 Tests, has not been as effective in ODIs, scoring 7017 runs at an average of 31.
The selectors also ignored experienced pacer Umar Gul for the ODI and T20 squads and dropped left arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar. Moin said that while announcing the two squads the main thrust was on the World Cup “which is why we have focused on youngsters like Saad Nasim.” Nasim, a leg spinner-batsman, is the only uncapped player in the two squads. “We have also recalled some young players like Umar Amin and Raza Hasan to bolster the squad.”
The selectors also recalled opener Owais Zia for the T20 match after he last played against England in the same format in early 2012. Amin, 24, who has played four Tests, 14 ODIs and nine T20 matches, is a stylish left hander who last played in a T20 in December 2013. Left arm spinner Hasan, 22, played seven T20 games in 2012 before being sidelined with a back injury. Justifying Amin’s selection, Moin said: “Amin’s current form and performance helped him win his place back and we are satisfied with his fitness level and current form. He himself is a keen player and kept himself thriving for top-level cricket. Hence we handed him another chance.” The pattern of selection for the Australia series showed that the selectors had taken a bold step of shutting the door on a few senior players, like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Younus.
Still hoping: But star batsman Younus told reporters in Karachi he had not given up hope of playing at the World Cup. “I will do my best to force my way back into the ODI side. I have no plans to retire from this format as yet,” he added. 
Pakistan ODI squad:
Misbahul Haq (capt), Ahmad Shahzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Umar Amin, Asad Shafiq, Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Raza Hasan, Mohammad Irfan, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan. Daily Times

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