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Hafeez ruled out of tour with calf strain

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Mohammad Hafeez has been ruled out for the remainder of Pakistan's tour of England, after suffering a calf injury ahead of the second ODI against England at Lord's. The fast bowler, Mohammad Irfan, has been called up in his place.

After complaining about pain in his left calf, Hafeez was diagnosed with a minor strain which means he will play no part in the remaining three matches of the ODI series, as well as the one-off T20I at Old Trafford which concludes the tour on September 7.

Although Hafeez will be staying in England to undergo intensive rehabilitation, Pakistan's management decided that there was no point in retaining him with the team.

The likelihood was that he was going to be dropped for the second ODI anyway, having endured a barren run of form since his arrival in England.

He managed 102 runs in six innings of the Test series before being left out for the series decider at The Oval, and made 11 from 15 balls in Pakistan's defeat in the first ODI at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.

Irfan, the tall fast bowler who missed out on original selection for the squad, has been drafted into the squad following approval from Pakistan's selection committee.

Irfan, 34, was originally overlooked in favour of a recall for Umar Gul, having failed to impress the newly appointed chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq with 12 wickets in nine ODIs in the previous 12 months.

However, he has been in action for Islamabad in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi, and will fly out to join the team ahead of the third ODI.

Meanwhile, Azhar Ali defended his decision to bat first at Lord's. Pakistan slipped to 2 for 3 in the opening moments of the match, with the England bowlers enjoying the 10.30am start and a green surface.

"The start wasn't good at all," he admitted. "It was really difficult to come back from losing three early wickets. To some extent we made a recovery, but it was not enough. The early loss of wickets cost us the game.

"But the first half of the game saw the ball come on the bat much better than the second half. If you start at 10.30, the openers have to take responsibility for getting you through the first 10 overs. But unfortunately the top order didn't really do anything. They were out to good deliveries, but as professional players you should be able to cope with that and find a way.

"But after five or six overs, there were some good shots players. The ball was coming on very well. In the second half of the game, it really wasn't coming on well and reverse swing was effective."

While Azhar agreed with Mickey Arthur's pre-match assessment that Pakistan are behind the rest of the world in ODI cricket - both tactically and in ranking terms - he took some encouragement from the fact his side were still able to reach 251 despite such a grim start.

"We are behind," he said. "But if the top-order had done better, we could easily have scored 300 today."