Pakistan captain Younis Khan and coach Intikhab Alam have asked for a new look squad for the forthcoming one-day series against Australia in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 22.
Both of them rejected chief selector Abdul Qadir’s suggestion that the 16-member squad selected for the postponed tour of Bangladesh earlier this month would play against Australia.
Qadir had surprised everyone by announcing that except for omitting the reserve wicket-keeper in the Bangladesh bound squad,the same set of players would be retained for the Australia series.
Khan told reporters at the Gaddafi stadium that playing against Australia was a different ball game. “You tell me does it sound right that the same squad that was picked for Bangladesh should be retained for the Australia series?,” Khan asked.
“I have asked for a few changes to be made in the squad as Australia is one of the top sides in the world and we need experience in our line-up. The players know that performing well against Australia would put them in the higher grade,” he said.
The selectors had picked three uncapped youngsters — batsman Ahmed Shahzad,pacer Mohammad Aamer and leg-spinner Yasir Shah — for the tour of Bangladesh that was due to start from March 7 but postponed after the Bangladesh government did not clear the series for security reasons.
Younis said he wanted the best side to be picked for the Australia series as Pakistan would be playing a tough series after a long time. Alam also echoed the same sentiments.
“The pitches would be different so we need to pick the team according to the requirements of the coming series,” Alam contended.
He also informed that special clay from the Nadipur town in Pakistan had been sent to Emirates to be used for preparation of pitches at the match venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The series against Australia was shifted to the Emirate states after Australia refused to tour Pakistan because of security concerns for their players. The series includes five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match.
Alam said Pakistan team,to be selected on April 1,would have a short conditioning camp at home before leaving for Abu Dhabi on the April 13 to get acclimatized to the conditions. The Australian team will reach Dubai directly after completing their series in South Africa.