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Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik are back

21 February, 2013

LAHORE: All-rounders Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik have made a comeback to Pakistan's ODI squad for the series in South Africa, after being omitted for the tour of India in December last year.

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The selectors have turned back to the old pros after Pakistan's batsmen struggled in the ongoing Test series against the Proteas. Pakistan trail 2-0 in the three-Test series with the last Test beginning at Centurion from Friday (tomorrow).

Batsman Asad Shafiq and spinner Abdur Rehman are the other inclusions for the five-match series that begins on March 10. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection Committee, headed by former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim, on Wednesday announced the ODI and Twenty20 squads. The players left out from the ODI squad that went to India are Anwar Ali, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail and Zulfiqar Babar. There is only one change to the Twenty20 squad, with Wahab Riaz replacing Sohail Tanvir, who was part of the team that had travelled to India.

“We thought that the team needed a spinner to back Saeed Ajmal in the one-day series and this could be Afridi's last chance to prove his credentials,” chief selector Qasim told reporters. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, who missed out on the Test team, also return to give the struggling lineup some impetus. Durban and Centurion will host the two Twenty20s on March 1 and 3 before the five-match ODI series begins at Bloemfontein.

“Pakistan's recent one-day showings are good as they have beaten India in India,” said Qasim of Pakistan's 2-1 victory in India in January. “I hope they improve their performance from the Tests.” All-rounder Abdul Razzaq, dropped after the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in October last year, has been left out of the side again.

ODI squad: Misbahul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Imran Farhat, Abdur Rehman.

Twenty20 squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Amin, Zulfiqar Babar, Asad Ali, Junaid Khan.

End.