Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi November 23, 2011

Khalil replaces Junaid for Bangladesh tour


Mohammad Khalil, the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited left-arm seamer, has been named as Junaid Khan's replacement in Pakistan's Test, ODI and Twenty20 squads for the Bangladesh tour. Khalil, who has not played for Pakistan since 2005, got the call-up after Junaid picked up a partial strain in his abdominal muscle during Pakistan's one-day series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.

Khalil, 29, is currently the joint-leading wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Division One, with 43 wickets from seven games. Twenty-one-year-old left-arm quick Sadaf Hussain, who also has 43 wickets in the current season, has been ignored, while Tanvir Ahmed and Wahab Riaz continue to be left out.

Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan's interim chief selector, said it had been a tough decision and made special mention of Sadaf, saying he would be given an opportunity at some stage. "We had a four-hour deliberation to choose Junaid's replacement out of four potential bowlers and Khalil's name was finalised by consensus of the team management and the national selection committee," Ilyas told ESPNcricinfo.

"It was a tough call. They [the four candidates] all have talent but we had to choose one. It is a positive sign that we have such strong bench strength. Those who were not selected should not be discouraged, especially Sadaf. He is a future prospect and definitely will be handed a chance, but at the right time. This time Khalil was the best option. He is in the best form and condition of his career and has taken most of his [domestic] wickets against good teams."

The first time Khalil was picked in a Pakistan squad was for the Test series against Bangladesh in 2003-04. He didn't get a game then but played three ODIs and a Test on the tour of Australia in 2004-05. He managed five wickets in the ODIs but went wicketless in the Test and again failed to get a wicket when he played the Kolkata Test on Pakistan's 2005 tour of India. He went back to domestic cricket and finished the 2010-11 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy as the third-highest wicket-taker with 61 wickets at an average of 19.24.

Junaid is out of cricket for six weeks after he sustained a partial tear in his abdominal muscle while bowling during the fifth ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. He will have to undergo rest and then rehabilitation. Junaid impressed in the Test series against Sri Lanka in the UAE, taking 12 wickets over the three Tests. He was left out for the first four ODIs but replaced Cheema for the dead rubber in Abu Dhabi. He bowled just three overs before leaving the field after experiencing pain in his abdomen. He was taken to hospital for an MRI scan and it was discovered he had a partial tear in his right abdominal muscle that will need six-weeks recovery time.

Khalil joins Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema and Mohammad Talha in the pace department for the Tests in Bangladesh, while the ODI squad has Sohail Tanvir along with Gul and Cheema.

Abdul Razzaq, the experienced allrounder, is also a doubt for the Bangladesh tour after he picked up a right shoulder injury in the third ODI against Sri Lanka. The PCB have not yet named a replacement for him.

The tour of Bangladesh begins with a one-off Twenty20 in Mirpur on November 29, after which there will be three ODIs and two Tests.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • khurram on November 26, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    Sadaf played most of his domestic matches in pindi ground which is green top. Khalil played his matches all over country and took wickets , this showed variety of his bowling. Inclusion of Muhammed Talha is wrong. Sadaf should be selected in the place for talha in ODI series in Bangladesh. This is not a plea that Khalil is 29 . Aizaz Chema is 32 years old and he has performed well against srilanka. Performance and fitness matter. wishes for Khalil and hope for Sadaf for next time. SAdaf should be included for talha

  • Ather on November 26, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Sami is not a test match bowler he got destroyed in abu dhabi by south africa his match figures were 179-0 and after that he should never ever play test cricekt for pakistan again he is a onderful odi and t20i bowler never a test bowler please dont brign him back in tests thank you

  • shan on November 25, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Khalil deserved a Shance its a good selection but what i dont understand is what malik and farhat are doing in the side ...farhat is in the side only bcuz of his father in law I think fawwad alam should have been given a chance in test as he had scored 168 in his debut and is the second highest scorer in the domestic this season whith an average of 80+ ... I hope he gets selected in the next series ...Why was Tanvir dropped, if it was bcuz of age than we are replacing him with cheema and khalil superb!!

  • ashok on November 25, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Any punjab born bowler will definitely do good, irrespective or india or pak. Rizwan seem to be of punjab and he is doing good and he should have been selected ahead of khalil.

  • naeem on November 25, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    It is another example of nepotism why sadaf Hussi is not being selected?

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    I am from India and I request PCB to please bring back Imran Nazir atleast in T20s.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    Well, it was better to select Saddaf because he is young and in form. Khalil has already been checked and INZI was disappointed by his performance. Moreover, Khalil is already 29, so better to check 21 year Saddaf who is also a left hander.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    its worng for pak cricket wher is sadaf hussain

  • Rimtu on November 24, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    The image of Junaid on this article, is a ditto copy of Wasim Akram in one of his many wicket taking celebrations. Maybe Junaid is the real Wasim Akram 2.0 that Pakistan has been waiting for? Maybe Amir was just a false alert! Junaid is certainly proved his worth by bowling and doing really well in the unfriendly conditions. Will his batting improve just as much?

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Good Selection, He has been performing on the domestic circuit for long enough taking wickets and his stats prove this. Inshallah Khalil can once again showcase his skills on the international stage - PCB - Keep the faith & Khalil all the best.

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