Karachi:Pakistani selectors have decided to bank on pace in the one-day series against Sri Lanka including six fast bowlers in a 15-member squad announced on Monday for the first match in Karachi on January 21.
The pace battery is spearheaded by Shoaib Akhtar and includes Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Sohail Khan, Rao Iftikhar and Yasir Arafat.
The selectors have also included uncapped left-handed batsman Umar Amin in the line-up who would be filling in the gap left by the defection of senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf to the Indian Cricket League.
The 20-year old has been in good touch this domestic season and was preferred over more experienced players like Faisal Iqbal, Bazid Khan, Khalid Latif, Yasir Hameed and Saeed Bin Nasir.
The selectors decision to persist with Shoaib Akhtar comes despite the fast bowler's legal battle with the cricket board over the 18-month ban and fine imposed on him by an appellate tribunal for indiscipline last year.
"We have tried to announce a balanced squad which is only for the first match. It can be changed and other players will be given a chance for next two matches," a selector said.
The second one-dayer would be played in Lahore on January 24 and the third in Multan on the 27. Then the visiting players will head back to home for a one-say series against India.
The Lankans will return on February 14 to play a three-day game and two Test matches in Karachi and Lahore.
Shoaib Malik (Capt), Khurrum Manzoor, Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Arafat.