Fast bowler Amir returns for ODI series against South Africa

Pakistan's bowler Mohammad Amir gestures to the umpire after unsuccessful appealing for LBW on day three of the first cricket test match between South Africa and Pakistan at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's bowler Mohammad Amir, left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla for 8 runs on day one of the cricket test match between South Africa and Pakistan at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan named uncapped all-rounder Hussain Talat in its 16-man squad on Wednesday, while fast bowler Mohammad Amir returned for the five-match one-day international series against South Africa starting later this month.

Talat has represented Pakistan in 11 Twenty20s. In seven recent 50-over games in domestic cricket, he scored 194 runs, including a century, and also took six wickets with his medium fast bowling.

"We have decided to give Hussain Talat an opportunity to show his mettle and skills," chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said. "He is a good left-handed batsman, who can also bowl."

Pakistan made three changes from the team which drew its last ODI series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates.

Inzamam said batsman Haris Sohail and Junaid Khan had yet to recover from injuries while hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali was dropped because of his inconsistent performance against the Kiwis.

"The selected team is a unanimous choice of the selection panel, including Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur," Inzamam said. "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."

Pakistan has also recalled Mohammad Amir, wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and left-handed batsman Shan Masood.

Masood, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq are the three left-handed opening batsmen in the squad, while the middle-order batting will be boosted with the return of experienced Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.

Keeping in mind the fast pitches in South Africa, the squad includes only one specialist spinner in Shadab Khan, while Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and Usman Shinwari are the three fast bowlers along with Amir.

Pakistan struggled against South African fast bowlers in the test series, losing the first two test matches.

"I have complete faith and believe in the side that is presently in South Africa," Inzamam said. "It is just that it has been a tough and difficult tour for them. I have been in this situation in the past and I know exactly what they are going through."

The series begins in Port Elizabeth on Jan. 19, followed by matches at Durban (Jan. 22), Centurion (Jan. 25), Johannesburg (Jan. 27) and Cape Town (Jan. 30).

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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.

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More AP Cricket: www.apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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