Pakistan in South Africa 2013-14 November 16, 2013

Irfan injured, Riaz dropped for SA tour


Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan has been ruled out of Pakistan's short limited-overs trip to South Africa this month due to injury. Another quick bowler Wahab Riaz, who went wicketless in three ODIs against South Africa in the UAE, has been dropped. Two players, medium-pace bowling allrounder Bilawal Bhatti and fast bowler Anwar Ali, were added to the limited-overs squad which lost the T20s 2-0 and the ODIs 4-1 to South Africa in the UAE.

Irfan suffered an injury during the second T20 in Dubai when he knelt down after the fourth ball of his second over. After rubbing his hip, where he felt the pain, he was helped off the field. He had an MRI scan in Dubai and according to the PCB he would stay back in the UAE to see a specialist. He is expected to return to Pakistan early next week.

"We are a little bit concerned but confident he will be alright for SL," Dav Whatmore, the Pakistan coach, said before adding that Irfan's workload will be carefully monitored going forward.

His absence for the South Africa tour will dent Pakistan's attack as earlier this year he was the biggest positive Pakistan had from the tour. He took 25 wickets in seven matches across all formats.

Bhatti is one of the few prospects from Pakistan's domestic circuit in recent years, forging a reputation with his all-round play. He has been in national contention for the last two years, but was left behind on the back of an injury he sustained last year. He is one of the few nippy bowlers in Pakistan who can bat fluently, and has two first-class hundreds to his name for domestic side Sui National Gas Pipelines Ltd.

Anwar, 25, first gained prominence with his swing bowling during Pakistan's successful Under-19 World Cup campaign in Sri Lanka in 2006. He made his international debut in 2008 and has played three T20s for Pakistan so far, the most recent being on the Zimbabwe tour in August.  

While there has been a reshuffle in the bowling, it is the batting that has repeatedly let Pakistan down in recent series, a department in which there were no major changes.

The PCB press release confirmed that Misbah-ul-Haq - who was expected to be rested for the South Africa tour - remains Pakistan captain while Mohammad Hafeez will continue to lead the Twenty20 squad.

There was also a change in the plan for the wicketkeeping department as the selectors picked Umar Akmal as the only wicketkeeper for the tour. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was part of the ODI squad in the UAE, returned home without playing a game.

The 17-man squad left for South Africa to play two Twenty20s and three ODIs.

Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain ODI), Mohammad Hafeez (captain T20), Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal (wk), Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    opening well afridi..........yes... afridi good player in the cricket world

  • Dummy4 on November 19, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    Since Malik and Razzaq are injured and out of the tour, My team for 1st T20 would be:

    1.Ahmed Shehzad , 2.Nasir Jamshed, 3.Mohammad Hafeez (captain), 4.Sohaib Maqsood, 5. Misbah-ul-Haq, 6. Umar Akmal (wk), 7.Anwar Ali, 8.Shahid Afridi, 9. Sohail Tanvir/Bilawal Bhatti, 10. Junaid Khan, 11.Saeed Ajmal.

    In ODIs, Asad Shafiq should get chance instead of Nasir Jamshed and Bilawal bhatti instead of Sohail Tanvir. I don't want to see Umer Amin in the team.

  • Muhammad on November 19, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    @Suhail Shafi: Misbah is a clever person. He will never open the innings. He is more comfortable coming down the order and improving his stats. He neither has technique nor guts to face new swinging, seaming and bouncing ball. This will hurt his image as only run scorer and savior of Pakistan batting.

  • Dummy4 on November 19, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    Pakistan should play a combination like this in the 2 t20's. Send Misbah @2 so that he holds 1 end for 20 overs and let other batsmen play their shots around him. Umar Akmal is a fine T20 batsman and he plays best @3. Mohammad Hafeez is vulnerable to Steyn and new ball and he can play well at 6. This team will have the required depth for both batting as well as bowling:

    1.Ahmed Shehzad , 2. Misbah-ul-Haq, 3.Umar Akmal (wk), 4.Sohaib Maqsood, 5.Nasir Jamshed, 6.Mohammad Hafeez (captain T20) 7.Abdul Razzaq, 8.Shahid Afridi, 9. Sohail Tanvir/Anwar Ali/Bilawal Bhatti, 10. Junaid Khan, 11.Saeed Ajmal,

  • Dummy4 on November 18, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    1)Azhar Ali (Bat Average)50 (2)Sharjeel Khan 52 (3)Sohaib Maqsood 52 4)Misbah-ul-Haq 48 5)Khurram Manzoor 46 6)Umar Akmal 36 7)Hafeez 33 8)Abdul Razzaq 30 9)Umar Gul 10)Saeed Ajmal 11)Junaid Khan

    {In Squad}: Taufeeq Umar 40 (bat & wk) ,Mohammad Irfan(bowl), Abdur Rehman (bowl),S.tanvir (bowl), Fawad Alam 46(bat),Khalid Latif 48(bat) ,Afaq Raheem 47(bat).

  • Dummy4 on November 18, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    My only question is what is the criteria in being a selector for the Pakistan Cricket team? Having being thrashed by the same team in favourable conditions what have the selectors been smoking by sending practically the same bunch of players to face the team in their favourable conditions? Expecting a whitewash in both formats for the proteas.

  • Jay on November 18, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    I have always thought that the problem with Pakistan cricket is that they always have someone knoecking on the door who promises to be a great prospect. Nearly every player currently in the team was introduced as a grand prospect but apart from Irfan and maybe Junaid, everyone has failed. Like everyone, Sohaib Maqsood has taken the opportunity with both hands. But what guarantees that he is not like Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Umer Amin etc etc? Now we are hearing names like Sami Aslam and Haris Sohail! It is funny how people want to see knew faces but never ask the old failing ones to go back to domestic and improve their game!

  • Dummy4 on November 18, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    When will the Pakistani selection committee learn? They need to rest players like Hafeez, Afridi, Shoaib Mallik, Razzak, Younis; and they need to bring in fresh young players like Hammad Azam. Harris, Shan, anf Khurram. It is no coincidence that it is the new players that have performed.

    Domestic stats are not wrong. It is the mindset of the selection committee that is wrong!

  • Hamza on November 18, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    NO Harris, No Aslam, No Fawad, No Sadaf, No Hamaad No Sharjeel....But Amin, Hafeez, Malik, Razzaq and Tanvir in. Absolutely no merit in PCB selection...Joke.

  • ramdin on November 18, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    The news in the local press is that Umar gul & Zulfiqar babar are not fully fit and that is why they were not risked,they will be in squad for SL series.a lot people are asking for Harris Sohail,I saw him in the West Indies and to be honest he did not grab that oppertunity(as opposed to Sohaib Maqsood).i did not see any thing special in far as anwer Ali is concerned his bowling is just a shadow of what he was in U19 World Cup (I am from Karachi and I have seen him playing recently I think this is his last chance)as far as Hammad Azam he hasn't done any thing special in U23 series and domestic circuit recently and that is why he is rightly ignored.Bilawal is a good addition as we not some batting strength in the tail.i hope he will make the squade.

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