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Pakistan announce squad for ODI series against West Indies; Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal recalled


Umar Gul, who was recalled for the England series has been dropped from the ODI squad.

Umar Gul
Umar Gul has been dropped

After winning the T20I series against West Indies, Pakistan announced their squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against the West Indies in the UAE. Umar Akmal, who was recalled for the T20Is and Asad Shafiq who played played an ODI in 2015 were both recalled in the 16-man squad.

Mohammad Hafeez will miss the series due to injury while Sami Aslam and Umar Gul, who were both in the squad for the England ODIs have been excluded from the 16-member squad that will take on West Indies next month.

Mohammad Nawaz and Imad Wasim, who have both impressed against West Indies in the T20I series have been included in the squad as all-rounders along with Shoaib Malik. The trio along with leg spinner Yasir Shah will be key to Pakistan’s chances of beating the visitors in the ODI series as well.

Umar Gul, who was recalled for the England series as the team needed experience despite not being match-fit, did not make the cut as a disappointing ODI series meant his career is unlikely to have a final flourish.

When questions were asked about Gul’s selection, Inzamam backed it by  saying that the fast bowling attack needed experience. He said: “There is no substitute for game experience and in that regard,  Umar Gul’s inclusion makes a lot of sense. Apart from his experience of bowling in tight situations against top quality opposition teams, and with a good track record to boot, I was also encouraged by the thoughts of the selectors who felt that Gul was extremely fit which is a key requirement for the ODI format.”

However, a disappointing England series despite a good start against Ireland meant he was dropped while two other fast bowlers in Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali were picked instead. The big news was the inclusion of Shafiq and Akmal, both of whom last played an ODI in 2015.

Shafiq last played in October 2015 but a strong performance in the National T20 Cup where he scored 310 runs at an average of 51.66 and strike rate of almost 140 meant he was back in while Akmal, who was picked for the T20I squad takes his place in ODI team for the first time 2015 World Cup.

After an excellent start to his captaincy Sarfraz Ahmed still remains vice-captain of the ODI side as Azhar Ali remains the captain and will keep his place in the top-order alongside Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam. Hafeez is still recovering from his calf injury and has therefore been rested.

The three-match ODI series begins in Sharjah on September 30 and the ground will play host to the second match as well on October 2 while the final match will be played in Abu Dhabi on October 5. With the two teams placed at eighth and ninth in the ICC ODI Rankings, they will be looking for a series win to inch closer to securing a place for the next World Cup.

Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (vice-capt), Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan

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