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Iftikhar Ahmed replaces injured Haris Sohail for Pakistan vs NZ ODIsuniquemytrip.com

Pakistan allrounder Iftikhar Ahmed will replace batter Haris Sohail for the final three ODIs of the ongoing series against New Zealand. Sohail suffered a shoulder injury on the eve of the first ODI, and while the PCB announced initial scans were satisfactory, he did not take part in the second game on Sunday.

Sohail, 34, returned to Pakistan’s ODI squad for the first time in three years for a previous series against New Zealand in January. He was retained for this one as well but landed awkwardly on his left shoulder during a fielding drill, causing the injury that has necessitated his absence.

The injury is a significant blow to Sohail’s World Cup chances. Pakistan play three more ODIs against Afghanistan in August and then they have the Asia Cup, but its logistics are still only being worked out. Sohail has played 45 ODIs, and was a part of Pakistan’s World Cup campaigns in 2015 and 2019.

Iftikhar, 32, has played just 10 ODIs, and none for over a year. His record with the bat has not been especially encouraging, with 132 runs in nine innings and a highest score of 32 not out. But there is a spot in Pakistan’s middle order up for grabs with Sohail’s absence, and Shan Masood’s recent struggles. Masood was omitted from the starting XI of the second ODI, and replaced by debutant Abdullah Shafique.

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