Pakistan excluded veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez from the final squad for the Asia Cup tournament, while young all-rounder Imad Wasim was axed after failing the fitness test for the second time.
Hafeez was part of the squad that played five ODIs in Zimbabwe but didn’t feature in a single match. Pakistan’s selectors decided to go with in-form batsman Shan Masood after the opener scored 1,200-plus runs in two domestic one-day tournaments.
Left-arm spinning all-rounder Wasim had failed the fitness on Monday, falling short of the Yo-Yo test benchmark of 17.4 by .02 points. He failed to pass the test on Tuesday and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the decision was straightforward.
“We have a clear policy that only players who pass fitness tests will be selected. This isn’t only for Imad, it’s for all players. If they fail a test once, we give them another opportunity. Imad Wasim unfortunately couldn’t pass it,” Inzamam said.
Injustice to Muhammad Hafeez. In Zimbabwe no chance in odi series and now dropped while we have no quality Offspiner in squad. CT final super innings and two 50,s 🏏 in NZ where Malik, Babar and Sarfraz failed but he is not in CS and Mickey plans 🙄.#AsiaCup2018 #Injustice pic.twitter.com/0GIx93N32g— Ahmer Najeeb (@AhmerNajeeb) September 4, 2018
The future of Hafeez now hangs in the balance as at 37 years of age, it will be extremely difficult for him to fight his way back.
The Asia Cup begins on September 15 and includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and a qualifier team. Sarfraz Ahmed leads the Pakistan side which opens its campaign against a qualifier on September 16 before taking on India three days later. Both games are in Dubai.
The final will be held on September 28 in Dubai.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Pakistan players underwent fitness tests during their ongoing training camp in Lahore and according to reports, 17 out of the 18 members passed the Yo-Yo test.
Spinning all-rounder Imad Wasim has reportedly missed the the benchmark of 17.4 by just 0.2 points and is expected to take the test again on Tuesday.
According to reports from Pakistan, quite a few players easily crossed the minimum standard required to be considered for selection.
Apparently, fast bowler Hasan Ali had the highest score of 20 which makes him one of the fittest cricketers not only in the subcontinent but also world cricket.
Yoyo Test Passing marks 17.4— ٰImran Siddique (@imransiddique89) September 3, 2018
Hassan Ali 20.0
Shoaib Malik 17.8
Imad wasim failed with 17.2 marks
Many New Zealand, England and Australia players are said to have Yo-Yo scores of more than 20, with some even going beyond 21.
Kohli is said to be one of the fittest players overall in the game with his endurance and agility said to be one of the very best. But when it comes to actual Yo-Yo scores, Hasan reportedly trumps the India captain.
According to various reports from India, Kohli’s Yo-Yo scores have ranged range from 19 to 19.3. It’s excellent in its own right, but Hasan has bettered them according to reports which should be a matter of great pride for the Pakistan quick.
Mitchell Santner has endured a frustrating past few months after suffering a serious knee injury but the New Zealand all-rounder has been using his experience to guide his replacement Ajaz Patel for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan.
Santner still faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines as he continues his injury rehabilitation but the 26-year-old is remaining active in every possible capacity in New Zealand’s ongoing training camp for the tour of the UAE.
The left-arm orthodox spinner has been guiding the 29-year-old Patel who was handed his maiden Test call-up to the Blackcaps squad for the Pakistan clashes.
“I’m sharing those little things here and there, but I’m sure he’ll (Patel) pick it up pretty quick over there,” Santner told Newshub.
Patel, who has picked up 187 wickets in 44 first-class matches so far, was glad to receive tips from Santner with regards to the conditions in the UAE.
“He (Santner) did speak a lot about how a lot of international spinners are bowling in the sub-continent, and around what they’re trying to do and what their game plans are,” Patel stated on his part.
“He’s been there, done that and seen it, so it’s quite cool to have that advice from him,” he added.
New Zealand’s tour of the UAE gets underway on October 31 with the first of the three T20s. The T20 clashes will be followed by three ODIs before the three-Test series commences on November 16 at Abu Dhabi.