Pakistan rest Younis, Gul for ODI series against Australia

Lahore: Pakistan selection committee today `rested` former captain Younis Khan and experienced pacer Umar Gul and axed wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed for the upcoming ODI series against Australia.

The committee, headed by chief selector Iqbal Qasim, had a detailed meeting here and finalized the one-day squad for the three-match series in the UAE from August 28.

"The selectors have decided to rest Younis for a while so that he can regain his form and confidence as some important series are coming up in next few months," Qasim said.

He said the same direction was followed in Gul`s case.

Younis has been a regular in Pakistan`s one-day and Test squads for the past few years and the decision to rest him is likely to generate a debate in the cricket circles.

The former captain himself has indicated that he was prepared for the announcement by the selectors after he struggled for runs in the recent series in Sri Lanka.

Younis also doesn`t feature any longer in the national T20 squad.

The 34-year old has been Pakistan`s leading run-getter in recent times and has scored 6,565 runs in 79 Tests at an average of 51, while his record in one-dayers stands at 6,824 runs in 245 matches at an average of 32.18.

He has scored a total of 26 international centuries and 73 half centuries since his debut in 2000.

The selectors also replaced keeper, Sarfraz with Kamran Akmal, who has already been picked in the T20 squad for the Australia series and the T20 World Cup.

Kamran made a comeback with former captain Shoaib Malik and left arm pacer Junaid Khan in the one-day squad.

The selectors have also called up uncapped pacer Anwar Ali, who featured in Pakistan`s under-19 squad that won the 2006 youth World Cup in Sri Lanka.

The selectors have depended heavily on youngsters such as Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq in the batting order, tempered with the experience of captain Misbah-ul-Haq, vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat.

Most of the top Pakistani players, except Younis and T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, are presently in Sri Lanka appearing in the premier league competition.

Pakistan squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Mohammad Hafeez (VC), Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Imran Farhat, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan, Anwar Ali, Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman.


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