Omitting Wahab and Amir would have been foolish: Inzamam

Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf were axed from Pakistan's World Cup squad on the back of a punishing series against England.

Paceman Wahab Riaz has not played a one-day international for almost two years, but was on Monday named in Pakistan's final 15-man squad.   -  Getty Images

Inzamam-ul-Haq says it would have been "foolish" to have omitted Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir from Pakistan's Cricket World Cup squad after a "lack of potency" shown in the series defeat to England.

Wahab has not played a one-day international for almost two years, but was on Monday named in the final 15-man squad along with fellow left-arm quick Amir - who has recovered from chickenpox.

Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf will miss the tournament in England and Wales along with spinner Yasir Shah, while batsman Asif Ali was preferred to Abid Ali.

Having learned of his omission, Junaid uploaded an image on Twitter of himself with tape over his mouth alongside the caption: "I don't want to say anything. Truth is bitter."

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Pakistan chairman of selectors Inzamam says a combination of Junaid and Ashraf's performances in a 4-0 ODI series loss to England and flat pitches led to the alternations.

"Junaid and Faheem had been originally preferred over a few other bowlers based on their recent performances and the investment we had made on them since 2017," said Inzamam.

"They had the opportunity to cement their World Cup spots, but they were well below-par in the series against England even though they were up against the difficult challenge of bowling on placid and batsmen-friendly wickets.

"After it became obvious that the bat is likely to dominate the ball in the World Cup, we revisited our strategy and reverted to the pace of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.

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"Furthermore, Amir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience to back and support the relatively inexperienced but immensely talent Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain."

He added: "The lack of potency of our frontline bowlers in the recent ODI series against England meant that a change was needed. In addition, we now know that we will encounter batting wickets throughout the World Cup campaign. 

“The combination of both these elements meant that we believed that right now, utilising the World Cup experience and knowledge of Wahab was the correct choice.

"Wahab has been training and playing club cricket, and the player of his calibre will not face much problem in adapting and adjusting to the gruelling demands of the World Cup. In addition, playing in the World Cup warm-up matches, bowling his quota, will have him match-ready.

"The bowling unit during the England ODIs has not clicked as anticipated or expected; if we have at our disposal the vastly experienced pace duo of Amir and Wahab, then it will be foolish not to include them."