LAHORE- he Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wednesday dropped experienced but out-of-form batsman Younus Khan from the one-day squad for next month's limited-over series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The PCB selection committee headed by former captain Moin Khan announced separate squads for the only Twenty20 international in Dubai on October 5 and the three subsequent one-day internationals here at the board’s headquarters. The squad for the two Tests will be announced later.
Younus, 36, has had an extended run of poor form in the one-day format, with his last hundred coming in 2008. He was included in the one-day squad for the Sri Lanka series last month after a gap of 17 months, but managed just three in the first match before he was forced to return home after his nephew died.
Talking to the reporters after announcing both T20 and ODI squads, Moin said: "We have not shut the doors on Younus and if the selected players don't perform, we can always review them."
Moin insisted the experienced batsman could yet earn a recall. "Younus had been dropped as part of a strategy to look forward to the future but the doors are not closed on him," he said.
"There is little time left before the World Cup, so the selectors have decided to try and give more exposure to the new and younger players. We have recalled some young players like Umar Amin and Reza Hasan to bolster the squad, but this does not take anything away from the service Younus has given to the Pakistan team."
The serious challenge for the selectors was to find a replacement for off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was suspended from all international cricket, after his action was found to be illegal. Ajmal had almost single-handedly shouldered Pakistan's attack in all three formats of the game and is still the number one bowler in the one-day rankings.
Khan said left-arm spinner Raza Hasan replaced Ajmal and this step was taken after serious consideration. "I am sure Raza Hasan will do his best to replace Ajmal, which is not an easy task because Ajmal's performances are great and it won't be easy to fill his void," he said.
Hasan, 22, played all seven of his previous Twenty20 internationals in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka two years ago but was subsequently sidelined due to back problem.
Left-hander Umar Amin stages a comeback in both the teams after being dropped from the team in 2013. Pakistan's T20 squad also includes uncapped Saad Nasim, a leg-spinning all-rounder, while dashing left-handed opener Awais Zia is also recalled.
Awais Zia, 28, played three T20 internationals against England in 2012 but managed only 47 runs before being discarded. His recent form in the domestic T20 tournament in which he hit a century earned him a recall.
Pakistan and Australia play the only T20 in Dubai on October 5 while the three one-day internationals are in Sharjah (October 7), Dubai (October 10) and Abu Dhabi (October 13).
TWENTY20: Shahid Afridi (capt), Ahmed Shahzad, M Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Sohaib Maqsood, Awais Zia, Saad Nasim, Raza Hasan, M Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Bilawal Bhatti, Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir.
ONE-DAY: Misbahul Haq (capt), Ahmed Shahzad, M Hafeez, Fawad Alam, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Raza Hasan, M Irfan, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan.
Pakistan A Four-Day: Asad Shafiq (capt), Shaan Masood, Ahmad Shehzad, Babar Azam, Harris Sohail, Israr Ullah, Adnan Akmal, Raza Hasan, Karamat Ali, Imran Khan, Atta Ullah, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil, M Talha.
PAKISTAN A ODI SQUAD AGAINST UAE: Sohaib Maqsood (capt), Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Harris Sohail, Babar Azam, Ehsan Adil, Imran Khan, Zafar Gohar, Bismillah Khan (wk), Karamat Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Adil Amin, Usman Shinwari, Atta Ullah.
Khan ready to fight for Pakistan place
Younus Khan hopes to force his way back into the Pakistan ODI side after being dropped for the series against Australia. The 36-year-old batsman was recalled to the side for the August series in Sri Lanka, having been left out since 2013, but Khan has again been omitted for the series against Australia. Khan has previously stated he is keen to represent his country in the World Cup next year but his omission would suggest he is set for disappointment, although he insists he will continue to fight for a place in the Pakistan ODI squad. He said: "I will do my best to force my way back into the ODI side, I have no plans to retire from this format as yet."