There are so many candidates to choose from that the only concern is who to leave out. Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, and Hasan Ali are likely guaranteed, but Pakistan has yet to choose two from Usman Shinwari, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, and Mohammad Amir. It is quite an embarrassment of riches. Sports fanatics from all over the world can now grab Cricket World Cup Tickets online to enjoy most exciting cricket matches.
The last name there – Amir – would not even be in the running if another bowler had his numbers over the last two years. Since the Champions Trophy final in June 2017, Amir has captured five ODI wickets in 101 bowling deferrals at an average of 92.60 per wicket. Not surprisingly, it’s the worst thing for all bowlers to have sent more than 600 balls during this period. To get an idea of the seriousness of the situation, Mark Wood is the second poorest specialist among the fast players on this list. It has 20 wickets at 47.75, almost twice as much as Amir.
What Amir has for him is a savings rate of 4.58 for the same period; his career saving rate is 4.78. It should be noted that among the fast bowlers belonging to teams participating in the World Cup, only Jasprit Bumrah (4.30) has been more economical in the last two years.
Admittedly, Amir’s replacement of the fast tearaway that could pit a bowler against a pitcher who controls the course of the race was lively.
Perhaps the most difficult question Pakistan faces is whether to bring its most experienced player to the World Cup for a swan song or not.
Only a few months ago, when Sarfraz Ahmed fought, Shoaib Malik could lead the tournament team. A defeat against South Africa in the T20I series, the victory of Australia and a mediocre campaign with Multan Sultans at the PSL have put this idea in the clear.
Malik is no longer a realistic option for bowling and has a bad record in ODI in England, averaging 13.6 with a bat in 23 innings. In the last two years, it has struggled to become the launching pad that Pakistan wants to rank fifth, the most common Malik’s strike position of the period. His strike rate of 82.11 for this period is almost identical to his career number.
Nevertheless, excluding it would be a courageous call. No other player in the tournament will boast a career begun in the previous century, and his casual attitude is unlikely to be a heavy and unwanted presence in the Pakistani locker room. And, in any case, Pakistan has a habit of ending the career of its players right after the World Cup, not just before. Malik has history on his side.
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