Pakistan allrounder Iftikhar Ahmed will replace batsman Haris Sohail for the final three ODIs against New Zealand. Sohail had a shoulder injury before the first ODI, and while the PCB said initial tests were good, he did not play in the second game on Sunday.
For a January series against New Zealand, Sohail, 34, returned to Pakistan’s ODI squad after three years. He was retained for this one but injured his left shoulder during a fielding workout.
The injury hurts Sohail’s World Cup aspirations. Pakistan play three more ODIs against Afghanistan in August before the Asia Cup, which is still being planned. Pakistan’s 2015 and 2019 World Cup campaigns included Sohail’s 45 ODIs.
Iftikhar, 32, has played 10 ODIs, none in over a year. His batsmanship has been poor, with 132 runs in nine innings and a best score of 32 not out. With Sohail out and Shan Masood struggling, Pakistan’s middle order is open. Masood was substituted by rookie Abdullah Shafique for the second ODI.