Mohammad Amir has made a return to Pakistan’s One-day international (ODI) squad after being included in the 16-member team for the five-match series against South Africa starting on January 19. Amir has struggled for form in the 50-over format and last played an ODI game against India in the Asia Cup 2018.
The 26-year-old fast bowler failed to pick up even a single wicket in his last five one-day internationals, including three Asia Cup matches in September last year. Following his underwhelming performances, the left-armer was dropped across all formats against Australia and New Zealand.
However, on the back of some fine performances in the ongoing three-match Test series in South Africa, Amir has been drafted back to the one-day side.
In the first two Tests, which Pakistan have both lost, Amir has taken a total of eight wickets, only one less than Pakistan’s top wicket-taker in the series so far Shaheen Shah Afridi.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said there were five changes from the Test side, which is presently in Johannesburg preparing for the third and final Test starting from Friday.
“Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas and Yasir Shah have been replaced by Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, Usman Shinwari and Imad Wasim, respectively,” said a PCB release.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the squad was selected with the World Cup — to be held in England from May 30-July 14 this year — in mind.
“While selecting the squad, we have tried to maintain consistency, taking into consideration player performances in white-ball cricket as well as looking ahead to the upcoming ODI challenges, including the World Cup,” he said.
Amir’s strong performance in the Test series made him an “automatic selection”, said Inzamam.
There were no places for all-rounder Haris Sohail — who returned from South Africa without featuring in the Tests due to a knee injury — and fast bowler Junaid Khan.
Batsman Shan Masood and all-rounder Hussain Talat earned maiden calls for one-day internationals.
The five-match ODI series starts in Port Elizabeth on January 19, followed by matches in Durban (January 22), Centurion (January 25), Johannesburg (January 27), and Cape Town (January 30).
Pakistan squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari.