Pakistan selectors face limited options for Australia ODIs
LAHORE: The fitness problems faced by all-rounders Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz and a suspect action of fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain have caused concerns for Pakistan’s national selectors who will be looking to pick a strong squad for the forthcoming three-match ODI home series against a formidable Australian side.
All the ODIs will be staged in Rawalpindi from March 29 to April 2 after the third Test between the two teams concludes on March 25 in Lahore.
The 23-year-old leg-spinner Shadab, who is Pakistan vice-captain, is considered a very effective all-rounder. It is learnt that Shadab, who faced groin problems while leading Islamabad United in the seventh HBL PSL in Lahore is undergoing a rehab programme. Though he joined the Northern team participating in the ongoing Pakistan Cup one-day tournament but so far has not played a single match on the doctor’s advice.
Nawaz, 27, suffered a foot injury during this year’s PSL and was ruled out of many Quetta Gladiators’ matches, and is still not match-fit.
Right-armer Hasnain due to his suspect bowling action is not being considered for selection.
Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood may replace Shadab for the Australia ODIs while the selection of fast bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali is very much on the cards as both of them, after missing the first drawn Test in Rawalpindi due to injuries, regained full fitness to play the second Test in Karachi.
Dashing opener Sharjeel Khan, who hit a whirlwind double century for Sindh against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Pakistan Cup in Islamabad on Wednesday, is the leading run-getter of the said event and is most likely to be picked for the Australia white-ball matches.
Meanwhile, the PCB is considering shifting the ODIs and the one-off T20 International from Rawalpindi to Lahore due to the ongoing tense political situation in Islamabad which will is set to experience a surge in political activities after March 23.
Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2022