Shoaib Akhtar has expressed his "concern" about Pakistan's World Cup 2019 squad which was announced on Thursday. The former Pakistan fast bowler seemed dissatisfied with the pace attack without Mohammad Amir, who has not been named in the 15-man squad. Expressing this on Twitter, he wrote, "My biggest concern is the pace dept. This squad lacks a leader of the pace attack, leader of the herd who is aggressive and goes out to attack. Hopefully Amir can be that."
My biggest concern is the pace dept. This squad lacks a leader of the pace attack, leader of the herd who is aggressive and goes out to attack. Hopefully Amir can be that.— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 18, 2019
In case that doesn't happen, @RealHa55an has to step up and fill that role along with @JunaidkhanREAL
As soon the squad was announced Mohammad Amir's exclusion was the biggest talking-point and, like many others, Akhtar believes he could have been a star performer in English conditions given his ability to swing the ball both ways.
"I still think Mohammad Amir could be a lethal weapon to have in English conditions," Shoaib tweeted.
This being only the preliminary squad is some relief for Shoaib, who is still hopeful that Amir, who has been picked for the series against England to be played just before the World Cup, will prove himself and make it to the final World Cup squad before May 23.
The optimistic Shoaib tweeted, "He has a chance to prove that in the England series and be selected for World Cup by May 23rd. Good luck Amir, you can do it."
Other than the pace attack, Shoaib was happy with the rest of the squad. He termed Babar Azam "the backbone of the batting lineup" and expects him to play the "anchor role".
Apart from Babar, Shoaib expects a real show from the likes of Sarfaraz Ahmed, veteran Shoaib Malik, Imam-Ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in the World Cup.
The squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt/wk), Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik.