LAHORE   -   Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has named a 16-member squad for three ODIs against Sri Lanka, from September 27 to October 2 in Karachi.

Abid Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan and Usman Shinwari have earned recalls. Hasan Ali misses out his place in the side due to a back spasm. He will undergo rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore.

The squad for the three T20Is against Sri Lanka in Lahore will be announced during the one-day series. Until then, the other players in the probables camp will continue to train at the NCA.

Misbah-ul-Haq said: “After thorough discussions with the members of the selection committee and meticulous planning, I feel we have put together the best possible squad. These are the only 50-over matches we play this season and we want to make their optimum use. Over the course of my cricketing career, I have realised there are no easy games and there are no easy opponents in cricket. But, a season-opening series is crucial for setting the tone. It is extremely important that we produce solid performances and have favourable results as it will build the confidence of our players and help in carrying the momentum Down Under.”

“The five boys, who have been recalled, were straightforward selections. Iftikhar Ahmed is a batsman who can also bowl off-spin and provides the captain with necessary bowling depth as Sri Lanka boasts a few left-handers in their ranks. Mohammad Nawaz has been performing well in domestic matches. Despite their strong performances, Moahmmad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari and Abid Ali were unlucky to miss out the World Cup squad. This is, however, a perfect opportunity for these players to prove their mettle in international cricket and cement their place in the one-day side,” Misbah said

Responding to a question on Sarfaraz’s own form as batsman, and his place in the side, Misbah said: “Future is known to almighty only. Let’s give him a chance. Sarfaraz has worked a lot on his fitness. The biggest mistake was that Sarfaraz didn’t give himself a chance to prove [himself] as a batsman. If he gives 100% chance to himself, he is a player who can give you performances. Sarfaraz should not underestimate himself as a batsman.”

Rizwan, meanwhile, was left out of the World Cup squad despite scoring two hundreds against Australia in an ODI series leading up to the tournament, when captain and regular keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed had been rested. He is now back, and possibly not just as back-up to Sarfaraz, with Misbah making a special mention of his batting skills.

“Sarfaraz and Rizwan’s roles are different,” he said. “If someone has scored two hundreds at No. 4, you have a chance. You have the added advantage of having two wicketkeepers, fitness-wise he is very good, and he will be in the loop. We are trying to encourage such players and we will try to give them matches whenever we have a chance.”

Hafeez and Malik, Misbah said, were going to remain in contention for the T20I squad in the lead up to next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

SQUAD: Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari, Wahab Riaz.