Younis returns to Pakistan ODI side
It has been two months since Younis Khan lashed out at the national selectors for dropping him from the ODI side, two months in which he has ransacked 717 runs in five Tests. The selectors simply couldn't ignore the weight of those runs, and have picked him in the ODI squad for the first two matches against New Zealand.
Misbah-ul-Haq remains the ODI captain. Misbah, who had gone through a lean patch with the bat, had sat out of the third ODI against Australia, leaving Shahid Afridi to lead in his place. Following that, Misbah experienced a resurgence, both as captain and as batsman, in the Tests against Australia and New Zealand.
Middle-order batsman Fawad Alam, who is Pakistan's second-highest ODI run-getter in 2014 (at an average of 77), has been left out.
Opening batsman Nasir Jamshed has also been recalled for the ODIs, while wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, who was prolific in the recent Tests, has made the Twenty20 squad. Jamshed last played an ODI for Pakistan a year ago in South Africa but has earned a call-up with 314 runs at 62.80 for Pakistan A against UAE.
"In the ODI squad, Younis Khan has been recalled for the ODI squad due to his sparkling form," Pakistan chief selector and manager Moin Khan said. "Similarly, Sarfraz Ahmed is featuring in a T20I for the first time. Young and promising Haris Sohail is also part of both squads, while Sohaib Maqsood was not considered on fitness grounds. Among our pace bowlers, Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul are making comebacks from injury to make the pace attack more potent."
Maqsood, 27, has been ruled out due to the wrist fracture he suffered during Pakistan A's trip to the UAE last month.
Fast bowlers Wahab and Gul have both recovered from their knee injuries and returned to both the T20 and the ODI squads. Haris Sohail, a left-hand batsman from Sialkot, has been in selectors' plan since last year and has finally made the squad ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
"I expect Team Pakistan to perform to its potential in both the T20Is and ODIs," Moin said. "We have tried to induct all our fit players in contention for a slot and this is also pretty much the last opportunity for the players to perform and cement their places in the World Cup squad.
"Both the squads are well-balanced, with a decent blend of in-form batsmen and good allrounders, with the bowling attack a potent mix of pace and spin combinations. Quite a few players have been included either after returning from injury or on the basis of current form."
Alam, 29, who had a lean run in his previous series against Australia, was axed as Younis and another prospect Haris Sohail had been included for middle-order spots. Since the ODIs against Australia, Alam represented National Bank of Pakistan in the domestic circuit to scoring a double hundred and three fifties but that wasn't enough to sway the selectors. His ODI debut came back in 2009 and he has a batting average of 45.14, but he couldn't hold down a permanent place. His latest recall in the ODI squad came into being after the span of five years in Asia Cup.
Pakistan start their limited-overs campaign with two T20s in Dubai from December 4 followed by a series of five-ODIs starting from December 8.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson