Pakistan has taken the surprising decision to bench opener Fakhar Zaman for Thursday’s Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka.
Fakhar has had a shaky Asia Cup, scoring a high of 27 and a total of 61 runs at an average of 20.33.
Fakhar has struggled to score large throughout the Asia Cup, but he started the year with three consecutive hundreds in ODIs against New Zealand and now sits in the top 10 of the MRF Tyres ODI Batter Rankings.
The left-handed batsman has been replaced by Mohammad Haris, one of five confirmed alterations for Pakistan’s crucial Super Four match against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
A triumvirate of ailments forced Pakistan to select without Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Salman Ali Agha (eye), while all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and Fakhar were also left out.
In the absence of Naseem and Rauf, fellow all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz replaces Ashraf, while Mohammad Wasim and Zaman Khan are given opportunities to demonstrate their abilities alongside pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi.
Babar Azam’s squad must defeat Sri Lanka to qualify for this year’s Asia Cup championship match against India, whereas Sri Lanka only needs to avoid defeat to advance.
Pakistan: Mohammad Haris, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, Zaman Khan