Three changes have been made to Pakistan squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Fast bowlers Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and middle-order batsman Asif Ali are roped in the Pakistan contingent for the CWC 2019. Medium pacer Junaid Khan, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and opener Abid Ali were the three members of the earlier lineup to miss out. Shadab Khan has fully recovered from a viral infection, reported as Hepatitis C. Experienced batsman Mohammad Hafeez has also regained fitness and is set to instill calmness in the Green Shirts.
Recently concluded England ODI series took high toll on Junaid, Faheem and Abid. Pakistan lost the five match ODI series by 4-0 against England. Pakistan bowling regularly came under the hammer on the England tour. This was alarming sign right before the premier ODI cricket tournament, that is starting on 30th May 2019. England regularly scored over 300 runs in the four completed matches. England posted 373 for 3 and 351 for 9 in the second and fifth ODI. Pakistan were not able to defend 358 and 340 in the third and fourth ODI. Experienced pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz will strengthen Pakistan bowling in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Mohammad Amir at the heals of match winning performance of 3 for 16 in the final of 2017 Champions Trophy in England. Recent strike rate of Mohammad Amir after the last edition of Champions Trophy is a concern for Pakistan cricket team though. Amir has just claimed five wickets in 101 overs bowled in last 14 matches at 121.2 strike rate. That is almost thrice from his career-strike-rate of 41.2 in ODIs. His economy rate has been 4.58 since Champions Trophy final, that means he can create wicket taking situations due to his meager bowling. Wahab Riaz last played an ODI match in June 2017, suffering heavy defeat against India in the 2017 Champions Trophy. Wahab has taken 27 wickets at 28.40 average and 5.18 economy rate in 17 List A matches played since. Asif Ali has performed superbly in just finished England ODI series with two fifties. His hard-hitting ability can add required impetus to Pakistan firepower on the batting friendly pitches in CWC 2019. Pakistan are hoping that with all bases covered, they will be considered a serious contender for the Cricket World Cup title in the 2019 ICC mega tournament.
Pakistan Squad for the 2019 CWC: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Asif Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain