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Saturday April 13, 2024

Selectors discuss team composition with Babar

By Our Correspondent
April 03, 2024
Pakistani players are celebrating victory in a T20I match against New Zealand in Christchurch, New Zealand, on January 21, 2024. — Facebook/Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistani players are celebrating victory in a T20I match against New Zealand in Christchurch, New Zealand, on January 21, 2024. — Facebook/Pakistan Cricket Team

LAHORE: The Pakistan T20 squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand is beginning to take shape, with key updates emerging regarding player inclusions and potential absences.

The national selectors have conducted preliminary consultations on player selection, engaging in discussions with captain Babar Azam to finalise the squad. A pool of 20 to 21 players has been identified, including standout performers like Usman Khan from the recent PSL season 9.

Haris Rauf remains sidelined due to ongoing rehabilitation, meaning he will not be joining the squad for the series. Saim Ayub and Mohammad Rizwan are expected to feature prominently in the squad.

Sahibzada Farhan and Salman Ali Agha are being considered for inclusion. However, there is uncertainty surrounding Fakhar Zaman’s participation as his injury status is currently under evaluation.

Nevertheless, the squad is expected to feature Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, and Usama Mir. Confirmed appearances are also expected from Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, and Zaman Khan.

Completing the potential roster are Usman Khan, Wasim Jr., Irfan Khan Niazi, and Abbas Afridi. Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim are also part of the selection.

In addition to the pace attack led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, and Aamir Jamal, spin options such as Usama Mir, Shadab Khan, and Abrar Ahmed are also being considered.

Furthermore, the presence of Mohammad Rizwan and Azam Khan adds depth to the batting lineup, ensuring a balanced and competitive squad against New Zealand. It is pertinent to mention here that Babar has just replaced Shaheen Shah Afridi as captain of the team. Shaheen was appointed the captain after Pakistan’s sub-par show in the ODI world Cup last year in India. He led Pakistan in New Zealand but lost the 5-T20I series by 4-1. Subsequently, the board decided to give the reins back to Babar.