https://hazharoon.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/bangladesh-tour-squad-analysis/ I have no personal issue with any of the players, or any agenda to push forward. Every assessment made is merely my viewpoint on the squad selected. After the relatively early exit from the World Cup, it was expected that the selectors will push forward with youth, and rightly so. To me its simple – if you’re not going to play in the 2019 World Cup, you shouldn’t be in the squad. And that’s the issue I have with the selection of Saeed Ajmal. I am a huge Ajmal fan; he is a great ambassador for Pakistan cricket and has performed remarkably for us, however I am not in favour of his inclusion at this point. Will Ajmal be representing Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup at 41 years of age? I highly doubt it. I’d rather we focus on backing youth for the premier event. As well as this, who’s to say Ajmal will be as effective as he once was? He hasn’t played competitive cricket in over seven months. I wish him well as he is a great guy, but I don’t agree with his selection. Another thing that is baffling is the exclusion of Ahmed Shehzad from the test and ODI squad. Here we have a youngster who has shown an appetite for big runs, yet the way he is treated is despicable. Shehzad was Pakistans leading run scorer in ODI cricket in 2014, the second highest scorer for Pakistan in the World Cup. He has played eight test matches, scored three hundreds with two fifties at an average close to 48. His last innings was a mammoth 176 against New Zealand, which was ended with a blow to his head. The treatment of Ahmed Shehzad is simply shocking. One of the reasons behind his exclusion is his ‘attitude problem’ and to ‘teach him a lesson’, well my question is if this is the case, why is he in the t20 squad? Now onto something a lot more positive, Mukhtar Ahmed, a name not a lot will know of. He is selected in the t20 squad after scoring a mighty impressive 100* against Karachi Dolphins. This knock came against Afridi and co, which is what I believe, persuaded the selectors and Afridi to include Mukthar in the squad. I’ve seen him bat and I think he’ll be a useful option at the top of the order. He has a pretty solid defence and a strong attacking game, what’s lacking though is the in-between, which is strike rotation. He also adds a bowling option with his part time leg-spin, which has had a relative amount of success. So far he’s had a positive start to his professional career averaging 40+ in all formats, lets hope he can transfer his domestic success to international cricket. What I am most happy about is the inclusion of Babar Azam and Sami Aslam. These two have been earmarked at a very young age to become quality international cricketers. Both have progressed up the ranks from the U19 stage and have had tremendous amounts of success. Recently Babar Azam scored a century against the Australians during a practice match, which shows his quality. One thing I do however find surprising is Babar’s exclusion from the ODI squad, which I believe is his stronger format. He averages 47 in list-a cricket compared to a mid 30’s average in first-class cricketer. Nevertheless, the inclusion of both around the set up is a positive move, and one that I am over the moon about! 22-year-old Mohammad Rizwan has also been called up to the Pakistan side, although this is the second time he has been included. He was previously included in the ODI team which toured the West Indies in 2013, however did not play a game. Watching Rizwan bat, I feel he is similar to Sarfaraz Ahmed. Both are ‘punchy’ players. His strength to me lies in strike rotation, this is a huge positive in his batting and it is a rare quality in a Pakistani batsman. I watched his double century in the Quaid-e-Azam thoroughly and I was impressed with the way he showed maturity at such a young age. He is a also a wicket-keeper which is an advantage. Umar Akmal has surprisingly been left out of all formats. I remember the last time we toured Bangladesh; Umar was the man of the series. He has always been one of my favourite batsmen in Pakistan, a modern day cricketer who takes the game to the opposition. I think the exlusion can work in a positive manner for him; he needs to look at this break from international cricket as a chance to improve and work on his game. He needs to go back to first-class cricket and learn how to construct an innings, 100+ scores are required. The bad thing for Pakistan cricketers are when they are out of form, its very hard to get back into form as the first-class game is very weak. Whilst Yasir has been a revelation for Pakistan in test cricket, I don’t feel he is a limited overs bowler. I love the passion and energy he brings to the game but I believe there are more promising spinners who deserve selection ahead of him e.g. Shahzaib Ahmed/Zafar Gohar. Shahzaib to me is the complete package, a marvellous leg spin bowler who at one point was the leading wicket taker in our domestic tournament. Last but not least Fawad Alam makes his much anticipated return to the Pakistan team. Fawad is a seasoned professional and the way he has handled himself after being exlcluded is commendable, no statements in the media etc. He has kept himself calm and instead resorts to answering his critics with the bat. He is a good inclusion and I am in favour of what he brings to the team. Although Misbah performed well for Pakistan, I believe what he did poorly was stagnate during the middle overs. This is the period where you need to rotate strike and build partnerships; this lies in with Fawads strength, which is nudging and nurdling the ball for ones and twos. Overall I am fairly to semi decently happy with the squad selected. As always there could be improvements however we must look at the positives, and those are mainly the inclusion of the youngsters. Eventually I see the likes of Hammad Azam making a return, which will be useful for Pakistan as I believe he will be required during the World Cup in England. Now is the time for the selectors to be consistent with the team and back them completely. The road to the 2019 World Cup starts now.