Umar Akmal
Pakistan must promote Umar Akmal to the top of the batting order.IANS

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against West Indies on Sunday. Due to fitness issues, Mohammad Hafeez did not make to the squad, while Sami Aslam and Umar Gul have been ignored.

Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq have returned for the ODI series against West Indies. After a look at the overall composition of the team, it seems Pakistan have a well-balanced unit, with quality bowlers and batsmen.

Though the core squad for the ODI series in the UAE remains more or less the same, Pakistan will have to come up with some solid cricket against West Indies after their poor performance in England. Skipper Azhar Ali will be under pressure to deliver in the series as he came under heavy criticism from former players who wanted him to be axed from the captaincy role.

For Pakistan and Ali to succeed, all their batsmen including Sharjeel Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed and bowlers like Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah have to be on top of their game to help the team emerge victorious.

In their last ODI series, Pakistan lost to England, and were outplayed in all departments of the game, but the Men in Green have always been a strong team when it comes to playing in their "adopted home" in the UAE. Hence, one can expect Pakistan players to deliver, and come up with solid cricket in the ODI series as well.

Pakistan will go into the ODI series confidently as they have been impressive in the ongoing three-match T20 series against World T20 champions West Indies, which they have already won with a game to spare. The three-match ODI series starts on Friday. 

Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (vc and wk), Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan