All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been added to the Pakistan’s ODI squad for Australia series, on a special request made by the management.
Hafeez is expected to reach Australia couple of days before the start of first ODI at the Gabba on January 13.
Earlier, Hafeez was ignored from the original 15-man squad due to his moderate form in the domestic cricket but after being given the green signal by the BCCI to resume bowling in international circuit has proved to be a boon as the selection committee wanted an all-rounder in the team and it looks obvious that Hafeez was the best option available.
In past, Hafeez has always been asked to bowl the opening overs if opposition team has a left-handed batsman as an opener. He has been his captain’s go-to man whenever this has been the case and we could see Azhar Ali adopting the same strategy as Australia are expected to open with two lefties: David Warner and Usman Khawaja.
“The selection committee headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq received a request from Pakistan team management comprising coach Mickey Arthur and captain Azhar Ali for sending Mohammad Hafeez to Australia for the ODI series. The selection committee has decided to accept the request of the team management and chairman of the PCB has approved the same. Hafeez will join the team shortly as the 16th member in Australia,” a press release from PCB stated.
Mohammad Hafeez was a part of Pakistan squad that toured England last year but his poor form saw him losing his place for the fourth Test. He played an ODI against Ireland and England before being ruled out of the tour due to calf strain.
Hafeez then went on to miss the West Indies and New Zealand series and will now make a comeback to the international circuit after a gap of four and a half months.