Pakistan make changes to World Cup 2019 squad: Details here
20 May 2019: Pakistan make changes to World Cup 2019 squad: Details here
Although the changes are tactical, it is interesting as the recent performance of players in England was taken into consideration.
Moreover, the nature of pitches in England during the 5-match ODI series was the driving factor behind the same.
Here are the details.
Additions: Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali added
The first notable change happened in the form of seamer Wahab Riaz.
Wahab, who last played an ODI two years ago, has been brought back owing to his ability to swing the ball, especially in English conditions.
Notably, Asif suffered a tragic loss as his 18-month daughter passed away on Sunday.
Fact: "Wahab's ability to reverse swing the ball got him selected"
"Wahab's ability to reverse swing the ball got him selected. Nobody expected the pitches in the UK will play flat even in the early season there (during the recent ODI series against England). So, we have realized that and reviewed our selection," selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said.
Wahab: Wahab: A force for Pakistan in 2015 World Cup
Wahab had a fruitful outing in the 2015 World Cup, where he finished as their highest wicket-taker, claiming 16 wickets at an economy of 5.56.
However, since then, he has played just 25 ODIs, claiming 25 wickets. His inconsistency had cost him his spot.
Further, considering his England performance, he has played seven ODIs, claiming just four wickets at an economy of 6.67.
Amir: The curious case of Amir
Amir has always been projected as the next big thing. However, he has been unable to replicate his form since the infamous match-fixing scandal.
Since his comeback, he has claimed 35 wickets from 36 ODIs.
In the last 10 ODIs, he has picked just a couple of wickets. Further, he has nine wickets from as many ODIs in England at an economy of 4.91.
Reliable Asif: Asif: A reliable middle-order batsman
The inclusion of Asif does not come as a surprise, owing to his tenuous and consistent batting performance.
Having made his ODI debut last year, he has scored 342 runs in just 12 innings at a fine average of 31.09.
So far in England, he has scored 142 runs in just four innings at an average of 35.50, including twin half-centuries.
Author's take: Wahab likely to be back-up rather than first team choice
The changes in Pakistan's World Cup look justified.
While the author completely agrees with the selectors bringing in Amir and Asif, Wahab might not get game time.
Due to his inconsistent form in the past, he is likely to be a back-up option rather than first time choice. However, the venue can play a part in Wahab's selection in playing XI.
Fact: Pakistan's final squad for World Cup