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Pakistani selectors make changes for T20 series in Ireland and England | Cricket News – Times of India


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NEW DELHI: Pakistan selectors have made significant changes, dropping leg-spinner Usama Mir while recalling fast bowler Haris Rauf in a bid to fine-tune their squad ahead of the upcoming T20 series in Ireland and England.
The selection panel, comprising Muhammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, and Wahab Riaz, revealed their decisions at a media conference, emphasizing the importance of performance evaluation in shaping the final World Cup squad.
Selectors highlighted the fitness concerns surrounding Muhammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Azam Khan, and Irfan Khan Niazi. However, Wahab expressed confidence in their improved fitness levels, assuring their availability for the upcoming matches.
Wahab justified the recall of Hasan Ali as a backup option for Haris Rauf, stressing the importance of maintaining a strong bowling lineup. Haris, who faced fitness issues during the Pakistan Super League, aims to regain form after a hiatus since February.

Abdul Razzaq clarified Usama’s exclusion, citing the presence of Shadab Khan and Abrar Ahmed in the squad, while Muhammad Yousuf defended Pakistan’s recent T20 series draw against New Zealand, despite the Kiwis missing key players. Yousuf emphasized the implementation of a rotation policy and urged players to embrace innovative stroke play.
The selectors revealed discussions with new head coach Gary Kirsten, emphasizing the need to create a fearless environment for players. Wahab affirmed that the selection of the playing eleven would remain the captain’s prerogative, with selectors refraining from interference.
Furthermore, the selectors rallied behind Babar Azam’s captaincy, acknowledging improvements in his leadership during the NZ series. Razzaq underscored Azam’s experience and expressed optimism for his continued growth as captain, reaffirming the selectors’ support.

Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (Captain), Muhammad Rizwan, Azam Khan, Saim Ayub, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Irfan Khan Niazi, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Muhammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Usman Khan, Abbas Afridi and Agha Ali Salman.
(With inputs from PTI)

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