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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced changes in the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad. This has been followed by some players performing exceptionally poorly.
In the ongoing National T20 Cup, where the first leg in Rawalpindi has been concluded, the original 18 players and their performance were monitored by the PCB and the national selection committee. The original squad, which was announced on September 6, was met with a lot of criticism.
Some of the players were picked despite not having shown enough satisfaction or experience. This was later met with the then head, and bowling coaches Misbah ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigning from their roles.
Pakistan T20 World Cup: What are the changes?
Though PCB chairman Ramiz Raja did say that the squad will not be changed, some of the performances delivered by the players have been poor. The fans have called for changes, and the PCB delivered.
Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain have been dropped from the T20 World Cup squad. Khushdil Shah was also dropped from the 15 but is still part of the squad. Khushdil Shah joins Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir as Reserves for the tournament.
Fakhar Zaman, initially was in Reserves, makes the final 15. Alongside Fakhar came former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali.
Here is the new squad list:
|#||Player||Role||Bat style||Bowl style|
|56||Babar Azam (C)||Batsman||Right||RH off-break|
|45||Asif Ali||Batsman||Right||RH off-break|
|39||Fakhar Zaman||Batsman||Left||LH off-break|
|47||Haider Ali||Batsman||Right||RH off-break|
|97||Haris Rauf||Bowler||Right||RH Fast|
|32||Hasan Ali||Bowling AR||Right||RH Fast M|
|9||Imad Wasim||All Rounder||Left||LH off-break|
|8||Mohammad Hafeez||All Rounder||Right||RH off-break|
|21||Mohammad Nawaz||All Rounder||Left||LH off-break|
|16||Mohammad Rizwan (wk)||WK-BAT||Right||–|
|74||Mohammad Wasim Jnr||Bowling AR||Right||RH Fast|
|54||Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk)||WK-BAT||Right||–|
|7||Shadab Khan (VC)||All Rounder||Right||RH leg break|
|40||Shaheen Afridi||Bowler||Left||RH Fast|
|92||Sohaib Maqsood||Batsman||Right||RH off-break|
|72||Khushdil Shah||Batsman||Left||LH off-break|
|–||Shahnawaz Dahani||Bowler||Right||RH Fast|
|91||Usman Qadir||Bowler||Left||RH leg break|
Pakistan T20 World Cup: Why were the changes made?
Criticisms were already met when the first squad was announced. In particular of Azam Khan, Khushdil Shah, and Asif Ali. However, following New Zealand and England series cancellation, the National T20 Cup became the center monitor of performance.
Let’s go one by one and compare the players.
1. Wicket-keeper Batter Comparison
7 matches | 185 runs | 46.25 average | 128.47 SR | 54* best
8 matches | 123 runs | 17.57 average | 129.47 SR | 45 best
It is clear that Sarfaraz Ahmed is ahead of Azam. Sarfraz played three crucial knocks for the SINDH side, in which they won two of them. The Strike Rates are similar, though. As a wicket-keeper, Azam Khan was criticized for not being able to collect the ball cleanly most of the time. Sarfaraz’s experience earned him his place.
(Poor performances from Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain saw them dropped from the World Cup squad)
2. Left-hand Hard Hitter Swap
4 matches | 88 runs | 22 average | 117.33 SR | 49 best
8 matches | 173 runs | 24.71 average | 125.36 SR | 51* best
Yes, you may question the inclusion of Fakhar Zaman. But fair enough, he has played two games at numbers 5 and 6 to test that position. He only played four games as compared to Khushdil. Though Khushdil Shah has far better stats than the top-order batsman.
3. An extra Batsman for a Bowler
Haider Ali: (stats as on oct 8)
8 matches | 315 runs | 63 average | 145.83 SR | 91* best
7 matches | 6 wickets | 34.16 average | 9.76 ECO | 15 SR
This is a mismatch, but Pakistan decided to go with an extra batter instead of a bowler. Hasnain’s stats are clearly not pleasing and fans demanded of Shahnawaz Dahani to make it into the final fifteen. But it seems that the management felt it was better to include National T20’s top scorer.
Pleased with the changes made by the Pakistan team? Comment your thoughts below.