“All three wicketkeepers-batters are proven performers in domestic and international cricket,” Wahab said. “In the last few years, we weren’t able to create back-ups. Going forward into the World Cup, we want to create those back-ups and try some of the boys. Haseebullah played in the middle order for Peshawar Zalmi and played some impactful innings. Overall he has been performing very well for the last few years in white-ball cricket.
“Haseeb also opens in domestic but we have to develop our Nos. 4 to 7 which has troubled us in the past. Now we are in a building phase so we know before the World Cup who our Nos. 4 to 7 are, who will grab the opportunities. Keeping that in mind, we picked Haseebullah because he is a proven performer and he has that ability where his strike-rate (120.65) is very high. We want to develop such players so they don’t have a problem in the West Indies.”
Pakistan will also be without Shan Masood, who Wahab said was among the probables, but ultimately not considered; They, instead, have decided to “invest” in “impact player” Azam.
“We’ve watched Azam very closely and at times it happens that you’ve to prefer skills over fitness. A player winning you a match is much more important than anything else,” Wahab said. “We’ve spoken to Azam about fitness levels and we’ve sent him a very clear message that we want to invest in you but you have to respond as well. Obviously you can’t expect someone to lose 10-15kgs in 10 days so Azam will travel with the team. He’s an impact player so we want to give him a chance and keep an eye on his fitness levels.”
Shaheen Shah Afridi (capt), Aamer Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan