Hafeez to lead Pakistan in Melbourne ODI

Mohamamd Hafeez will lead Pakistan in the second ODI match of the VB series on Sunday at the MCG after regular skipper Azhar Ali is unavailable due to an apparent hamstring tear, as confirmed by the PCB.

Hafeez, who has captained Pakistan in Test and T20 cricket previously, will lead his side in two ODI games, possibly,  for the first time in his career, with Azhar Ali set to return for the fourth match in Sydney on January 22.

Australia completed a comprehensive win in Brisbane in the first ODI match on Friday after visitors had fallen 92 runs short of their target of 269.

Azhar Ali was retired hurt when on 12 in the first ODI match with a hamstring injury, and then came back later in the innings to do no favor to his team.

Pakistan Vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmad would have automatically stepped into the role had he been available; he was forced to leave the tour early to be with his ill mother.

Coincidently, fast bowler Mohammad Irfan also left the squad following the demise of his mother earlier this week.

But the veteran Shoaib Malik is set to make a return on Sunday having missed the first ODI match due to illness.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur lamented the unavailability of players on Friday night after the home side registered a comprehensive 92-run win.

“(Losing Sarfraz, Irfan, Malik and Ali) was all a bit of a calamity,” the South African said.

“But we’ll pick up the pieces and see who’s available for Sunday.”

Also read: Mickey Arthur slams Pakistan’s ”old-style” ODI approach

Possible Line-ups

Pakistan (possible) 1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Mohammad Nawaz 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Hasan Ali.

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Chris Lynn, 5 Mitchell Marsh, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Josh Hazlewood.

Featured Photo Credit: Cricket Companion/Flickr