Karachi: Pakistan’s senior batsman Younis Khan finally made a comeback to the national one-day squad on Thursday for this month’s one-day series against England in the UAE. Younis was recalled to the national ODI squad for the first time this year after having last played in the World Cup in early March in Australia and New Zealand.
“We have included Younis in the one-day squad to add more stability to the middle order keeping in mind our future assignments,” chief selector Haroon Rasheed told the media. “It is now up to Younis to prove his credentials in one-day cricket once again,” the former Test batsman said. The chief selector had to travel to Sharjah to meet with the Pakistan team head coach Waqar Younis and ODI captain Azhar Ali and convince them that Younis should get another shot at this format.
Speculation was rife that Waqar in particular is not in favor of including Younis and banking on the younger players. Since March 2013 Younis has played just 11 ODIs as the selectors have shown little faith in his abilities to convert his test form into the 50-overs format.
Younis, 37, has constantly said he wants to play ODI cricket but there is a marked difference between his test and ODI records which has kept him out of the one-day team. In Tests while he is averaging 54.31 and has scored 9071 runs in 103 games with 31 hundreds in ODIs he averages 31.34 in 264 matches with seven hundreds.
The selectors included several youngsters in the ODI squad bring in uncapped left arm spinner and allrounder Zafar Gohar and retaining allrounders Bilal Asif, Aamir Yameen and Anwar Ali as well. Inform allrounder Emad Wasim has been ruled out of the ODI series because of a finger injury but Haroon Rasheed said he could be fit or the T20 series.
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (Captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Muhammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Aamir Yameen, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Irfan, Rahat Ali and Bilal Asif.