Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Who will you pick in Pakistan's 15 for the ICC World Cup 2019?

The deadline for submitting World Cup squads is 30th April 2019 and Pakistan is done with all its international assignments till then. Pakistan's 5-match ODI series against England will start on 8th May, so it is only logical that Pakistan's World Cup squad plays that series.

Considering Pakistan is planning to send the team to England by 24th April for acclimatization and practice matches against county sides, the selectors have 20 odd days to make up their mind about the 15 that will play the ICC World Cup 2019.

Several players, namely Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Khan, and Abid Ali built a solid case for inclusion during the just concluded ODI series against Australia.

Inzamam and co. have a tough job now on their hands as a number of players have demonstrated good performances.

Let us take a look at the probable World Cup Squad composition.

In my view, the 15-man squad should comprise 7 batsmen, 1 wicketkeeper batsman, 2 spinners, and 5 pace bowlers.

I believe, the following select themselves:

Batsmen: Babar Azam, Imam Ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez (if fit), and Shoaib Malik

Wicketkeeper: Sarfraz Ahmed

Spinners: Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan

Pacers: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, and Usman Khan Shinwari

This leaves 1 batsman and 1 pacer to be selected.

The options for the 1 batsman are:

Mohammad Rizwan
Abid Ali
Umar Akmal
Shan Masood
Asif Ali

I believe the race is between Mohammad Rizwan who knocked two centuries against the Aussies and Abid Ali, the debutant centurion.

A number of experts and fans have been calling for Asif Ali's inclusion in Pakistan's ODI team. I don't understand how they think. Has everyone forgotten what a miserable failure he was in ODIs for Pakistan?

Sure, Pakistan has not seen a better six hitter since Afridi than Asif Ali, but he is at best a T20 player and does not fit into an ODI team. He cannot bat at 6 because if required to bat before the 30th over, which will be more often than not for Pakistan, Asif cannot fulfill the role. And playing him at 7 means you sacrifice a bowler, which makes no sense. At best Asif is an Afridi who cannot bowl, which basically means he is useless. Pakistan has enough lower order firepower in Imad, Faheem, and Hassan all of whom contribute with the ball as well, so really, Asif is not required.

Umar Akmal and Shan Masood had the perfect opportunity to put on some solid performances and impress the selectors during the ODI series against Australia, but neither did enough, besides looking good in spurts, to push their case.

So it will all come down to whether Pakistan want a reserve opener or a reserve middle order batsman. Both Rizwan and Abid can double up as a back-up wicketkeeper. It will be a tough choice between the two for Inzamam and co.

For me, I would go with Abid Ali for the sheer quality of his innings against Australia. The confidence, stroke play, and timing that he showcased in his debut innings puts him ahead in the race in my opinion.

If Hafeez does not recover from his injury in time, then Rizwan will make the squad as well.

Options for the 1 pacer are:

Mohammad Aamir
Junaid Khan
Mohammad Abbas
Mohammad Hasnain

Abbas could not replicate his test success in ODIs, Hasnain was far too raw despite showing some good pace, and Junaid was way too inconsistent.

Aamir's form has been lacking for a while now, but considering that he is a big match player, he should get the nod for a World Cup spot.

So here is my 15 for the ICC World Cup 2019: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Aamer

My first choice XI would be: 1. Imam Ul Haq 2. Fakhar Zaman 3. Babar Azam 4. Haris Sohail 5. Sarfraz Ahmed 6. Mohammad Hafeez / Shoaib Malik 7. Shadab Khan 8. Imad Wasim 9. Faheem Ashraf 10. Hasan Ali 11. Shaheen Afridi

Aamir will play in place of Shadab whenever the conditions favor seam bowling.

I believe 5 is the best position for Sarfraz and he should bat there throughout. I have also heard that he himself wants to bat at that position.

Hafeez has displayed his big hitting ability on more than one occasion and is best suited for number 6, unless he is unfit in which case Malik should assume that role.

Pakistan will play 2 ODIs against county sides, 5 ODIs vs England, 2 warm up ODIs before opening their World Cup campaign on 31st May 2019 against the West Indies.

In my opinion, it is these 15 players who should be named for all these games and the World Cup!

Make your pitch on this post...

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13 Pitched:

  1. Unknown said...

    Exactly, I completely agree with you.

  2. Anonymous said...

    umar akmal select for england tour

  3. Unknown said...

    Never forget to select Umar Akmal for world cup, as he may prove devastating on english weather

  4. Unknown said...

    Imam fakhar babar haaris malik sarfaraz faheem shadab imad hasan shaheen

  5. Unknown said...

    Imam abid fakhar
    Babar haaris malik hafeez umar ak
    Sarfaraz rizwaan
    Faheem shadab imad
    Usman amir shaheen hasan

  6. Unknown said...

    Haris sohail iz wrong decision

  7. Unknown said...

    Shahzad,imam,babar,sarfrz,malik,hafeez,u akmal,i wasim,h ali,m amir/shaheen,shinwari

    Fakhar,j khn/ rumman,haris,rzwan,sadab

  8. Unknown said...

    Fakhar,Imam,babar,Haris,Hafeez,Shoaib malik,Sarfaraz,Umer Akmal,imad,shadab,Hassan Ali,Faheem Ashraf,Usman khan,Junaid khan,Aamir/,mohammad Hasnein

  9. Unknown said...

    1. Imam

    12 .Abid

  10. Maverick Sherani said...

    I agree to all your predictions amd analysis, however, I feel Abid Ali will not get the nod as he has only played 2 innings out of which 1 was a gem & other an absolute failure. The bearded guy will make the cut since he stroked 2 centuries. & God knows why, but has always been with the team although his performances are below par at both international level as well as in PSL.
    Also the entire team you predicted above has only 1 batsman who can hit sixes to both pacers & spinners i.e. M. Hafeez, while Malik is only good on slpw tracks against spinners.

  11. Ahsan said...

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  12. Sportz Prime said...

    Pakistan Cricket Team Squad 2019>

  13. Anonymous said...

    They have a decent squad for this year's world cup. But, I believe they should have added some experienced players to boost their squad. Nonetheless, Ind Vs Pakistan is the match we should talk

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