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December 8, 2012
Raza Hasan, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, injured his disc in his spine and has been ruled out of the limited-overs tour of India. He suffered the injury while bowling against Quetta Bears in a Faysal Bank Twenty20 Cup game at Lahore City Cricket Association Ground on Sunday.
Hasan, 20, made his international debut in September this year against Australia. He's played seven T20 internationals, picking up six wickets at 25.66. According to the preliminary report, he damaged his spine and has been advised rest for six to eight weeks.
Pakistan are due to tour India later this month to play three ODIs and two T20Is. The selectors will be monitoring the ongoing Twenty20 tournament in Pakistan; with Hasan out, left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, who is 34 and eager for a chance to play for Pakistan, could have an opening.
Asad Shafiq, the Pakistan middle-order batsman, has sustained a finger injury and is doubtful for the India series. He injured himself while playing for Karachi Dolphins against Bahawalpur Stags at the Bagh-e-Jinnah in Lahore.
Iqbal Qasim's selection committee is set to announce the ODI and T20 squads for the India series this weekend. Should Shafiq be ruled out, selectors could consider a likely replacement in Harris Sohail, 23, a left-hand batsman who plays for ZTBL. He recently finished as second-highest run-getter in the President's Trophy, the first-class tournament, scoring 673 in five matches at 134.60. He has an average of 72.83 in T20 cricket with a strike-rate of 105.55.
The selectors could also be leaning towards experience for the India tour. Umar Gul and Younis Khan, who were dropped from the ODI squad, are likely to return. It won't be surprising if Shahid Afridi is left out, on account of his form. Imran Nazir hasn't been very productive, either, scoring 176 runs in his previous nine T20I innings.
The bowling line-up may undergo change, as the focus may shift from spin to strengthening the pace department. Pakistan have been relying largely on Saeed Ajmal, but Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan's captains for ODIs and T20s respectively, have hinted at a change of tactics while playing in India.
Allrounder Abdul Razzaq, who had criticised his captain Mohammad Hafeez for not taking him in the XI during the World Twenty20, is still in contention. He smashed 14 off 3 balls on Friday night for Lahore Lions, pulling off an unlikely victory for this team. He was deemed not fully fit but made a strong statement with that cameo.
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