Pakistan recall Akmal, Shehzad for T20Is against Sri Lanka
The Pakistan cricket team has recalled the likes of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, starting Saturday at Lahore. Both cricketers make a return after quite sometime in the scheme of things. Besides the two cricketers, Faheem Ashraf has also been included in the side. Here are further details.
Pakistan's 16-member squad to face Lanka
Pakistan T20I squad to face Lanka: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz.
Akmal and Shehzad's returns a key factor
Akmal last played a T20I for Pakistan back in 2016. The 29-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has featured in 82 T20Is in total. He has scored 1,690 runs at 26.82. 27-year-old Shehzad gives Pakistan an option in the opening department. He last played a T20I in 2018 against Scotland. Shehzad has featured in 57 T20Is and scored 1,454 runs at 26.43.
Imam-ul-Haq injured, Pakistan name a strong team
Pakistan are set to miss Imam-ul-Haq at the top. The southpaw sustained a hand injury during the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Monday. Otherwise, it is a strong squad that will take the Lankans on in Lahore. Sarfaraz Ahmed is set to lead the team which has the presence of several star-studded players including the likes of Babar Azam and Mohammad Amir.
Pakistan begin preparations with ICC World T20 in mind
With the ICC World T20 next year, Pakistan will want to look at the players and identify a winning team. It's a key phase for the Asian side in terms of getting themselves in a zone of winning matches on a regular basis. This series will be of utmost importance for Shehzad, in particular. With Imam out, he needs to grab the opportunity.