Series against countries like the Netherlands provide a team to test its bench strength. Most of the teams send their B squad for these series. Players who have been consistent performers in domestic cricket get a chance to prove themselves on an International level, they also get aware of the pressure International cricket has.
It also assists the out-of-form player to regain their form and reboot to their beast level. New Zealand recently toured Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland and used a squad which was an amalgam of both of their first-choice players and bench strength.
The current ODI team of Pakistan lacks experience
The Pakistan ODI team who played against West Indies back in June is not very experienced. Babar Azam is the most experienced batter in the team right now, featuring in merely 89 ODIs. But in other teams like India Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli both have experience of 250 ODIs, and the same is the case with other teams. So to gain some experience, some senior players must play this series, not Babar but players like Muhammad Rizwan, Shadab khan and Fakhar Zaman must play.
Players Included in the Pakistan squad for Sri Lanka must be given rest
Pakistan’s players have had a hectic test tour of Sri Lanka this month. Babar, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Muhammad Nawaz who have been playing all three formats must be given rest. Shaheen was not feeling well due to injury and was not considered in the second test match vs Srilanka and should not be considered in the forthcoming series to manage his workload. Imam ul Haq does not have to play any series till the t20 world cup as this is the last ODI series of Pakistan before the t20 world cup۔ Consequently، he can be examined for the squad.
Out-of-form players must be assumed in the Pakistan squad to gain some form
Fakhar, who had a brilliant PSL season this year was unable to perform well in the home series both against Australia and West Indies. So this is the nicest and most precise time for him to gain his prime and make himself prepared for the t20 world cup. Rizwan who had been a consistent performer and match-winner for Pakistan in the T20 team is yet to substantiate himself in 50 over format. Moreover, Haris Rauf who has not performed well in the recent ODI series can enable himself to prove his worth.
Will we see some debutants in the Pakistan squad?
Reports suggest that Abdullah Shafiq will make his ODI debut against the Netherlands. He was selected in the ODI squad for both home series but was not given a possibility, now time will reveal whether or not he will make his debut. Kamran Ghulam and Naseem Shah can also be included in the squad.
Also read: Future of ODI Format in International Cricket
Pakistan can assemble serious middle-order from this series and squad
Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Shadab khan, Suad Shakeel, Haider Ali and Muhammad Haris, plenty of options are accessible for Pakistan in the middle order but excluding Shadab no one has got many chances to prove themselves as International material. Khushdil has performed in the last two series and has shown why he is known as a finisher in the Pakistan domestic and Multan Sultan team. But left-handed batter also needs some experience and exposure to international cricket. Most possibly Saud, Khushdil and Iftikhar will be in the squad as all three can bowl some crucial overs when the team expects it.
Will we see the comeback of players in the Pakistan Squad who had been performers in past?
Shan Masood is likely to be back in the Pakistan squad for this series. Pakistan has been ruining Masood’s prime by constraining him only to red ball cricket. He will be back in the squad but his position is yet to be decided. He can bat as an opener and in absence of Babar, he can bat one down as well. As suggested early in the article.
Nawaz should be given rest so, in absence of Nawaz, Imad Wasim should make his recovery. The 33 years old left arm-off spinner last played an ODI for Pakistan in 2019. Imad has considerable potential to solve the issue of the Pakistan middle order. Haider Ali has only played two ODIs till now and he can also make a comeback here.
Who should captain Pakistan’s squad for this series
Shadab who is vice-captain of Pakistan in white ball cricket is probable to captain the Pakistan team for the Netherlands series. Rizwan will be the vice-captain if he gets elected for the team. Shadab skippered the Pakistan team in the three-match T20 series vs New Zealand in their home.