Pakistan News

Five Bowlers, Two Spots in World Cup Squad! Who will make it?

With just under two months to go for cricket’s mega event, the announcement of Pakistan’s squad for world cup is in final phase. ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, will be staged in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.

England will open the tournament at The Oval on 30 May when they will take on South Africa, while Australia will launch their title defence on 1 June against the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier champions Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.

  • India and Pakistan will face off on 16 June at Old Trafford.

Reigning ICC Champions Trophy winners and former champions Pakistan will start their campaign against the ICC World Twenty20 winners and two-time former champions the Windies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on 31 May.

Pakistan cricket bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has said that there are two places for bowlers, which remain to be picked for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 squad.

“There are still two spots in the bowling department which remain undecided, and the options are Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Hasnain. We need to pick two bowlers from this these guys so this is an opportunity for them to show their talent and make a place for themselves in the World Cup squad,” said Pakistan’s bowling coach Azhar Mahmood.

The bowling coach remained confident owing to improved performance form the bowlers especially Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari and Junaid Khan.

Mohammad Amir, once the spearhead of the Pakistan pace attack, has struggled with form even after being given a fairly long rope by the hopeful national selectors. His decline has been one of the talking points for the side as they build up to the World Cup in England.

In 21 months, Amir has managed to bag only five wickets in 101 overs at an average of 92.60 and a strike rate of 121 in the 50-over format. Photo: Getty Images

For the first time, coach Mickey Arthur is not sure of Amir’s place in the squad for the World Cup.

“Amir’s form is a worry and nobody is more worried than Amir. I still think he is an incredibly skilled bowler and has all the attributes to be successful,” Arthur said on Tuesday.

“Amir’s form is a worry and nobody is more worried than Amir. I still think he is an incredibly skilled bowler and has all the attributes to be successful. Amir has got a big match temperament and we will see how we use him going forward.”

Talking about fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who has not among the wicket takers lately, the bowling coach revealed that they are working on the bowler’s fitness. Amir said he was hopeful that Amir would make a strong return.

“Amir is a wonderful bowler. But since he returned, he was playing non-stop cricket so we have to do work on his fitness. If Amir is fit and bowling well then we know he is a wicket-taker,” said Mahmood.

“The reason for that is playing three formats, in limited overs you bowl a bit shorter. Amir is a swing bowler and that’s what makes him dangerous. On a Sharjah type wicket, you have to bowl a bit shorter so his ball isn’t swinging but he’s working hard and I hope he’ll come back strong.”

Azhar Mahmood is pleased with the way Usman Shinwari has performed in this series.

“There are a lot of positives for us, like Shinwari is back, he has bowled really well and (so has) Junaid. We have got a young find in the form of Hasnain. We are trying to give bench strength more opportunities to try and play international games,” he said.

Usman Khan Shinwari is also a hot contender of World Cup Spot along with Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan. Photo: Aamir Qureshi / AFP / Getty Images

While at other side, Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan made his much anticipated return to the international cricket on Wednesday, much to the delight of his fans against Australia in the third One Day International (ODI) at Abu Dhabi.

The speedster was making his first international appearance, since last playing for Pakistan in November last year against New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images

Junaid made the impact straight away picking up Shaun Marsh in his first over, as the Aussie gave a big inside edge to square leg straight into the hands of Shan Masood standing just in front of square.

Junaid Khan is one of the best contender of World Cup spot along with Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari.


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