The Pakistan team management has left out the promising duo of batsman Haider Ali and uncapped Abdullah Shafique in its 15-member squad for Friday’s first ODI against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi.
Vice-captain Shadab Khan was not considered after being ruled out of the first match due to stiffness in his left upper-leg.
Senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez and young fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain were also not picked even though they were named in a preliminary squad, like Haider and Shafique, last week for the white-ball series against the visitors.
Pakistan’s top batsman, Babar Azam, will be leading the team for the first time in an ODI series and said he wanted to start his tenure on a winning note.
“I’m keen on winning the ODIs as this is my first series as captain,” said Azam.
“No team is easy in international cricket so we won’t take Zimbabwe lightly.”
Both the teams, having completed their COVID-19 tests and mandatory isolation, practiced at the Rawalpindi stadium on Thursday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has scheduled all three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals in Rawalpindi due to smog in Lahore.
The matches will be played behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
Zimbabwe is the fifth team to be playing in Pakistan since 2018 after tours by ICC World XI, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The last two teams also helped resume Test cricket in Pakistan, 10 years after the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
The PCB is also looking forward to host South Africa and England in January-February. The board believes it will lead to complete resumption of international cricket in the country.
Babar Azam (captain), Imamul Haq, Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Musa Khan.
The complete ODI and T20I series schedule:
Oct 30 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 1 2nd ODI, t 30 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 1 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 3 3rd ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 7 1st T20I, Rawalpindi
Nov 8 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi
Nov 10 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi.