Pakistan former captain Ramiz Raja omitted veteran batsman Shoaib Malik and has instead picked up aggressive batsman Asif Ali in his World Cup squad for Pakistan.
“Asif Ali will be a surprise for many, and maybe the selection committee does not even select him, because they would play safe and may pick Shoaib Malik. But in my book this is not the time to play safe, as we need to pick a player that is a capable power hitter, and at the moment there is no better and cleaner hitter of the ball then Asif Ali in Pakistan," said Raja, at Ramiz Speaks.
Raja was of the view that Ali gives Pakistan the option of power-hitting at sixth and seventh slot and can play the role that was previously played by Inzamam ul Haq for Pakistan in 1992 World Cup.
“For an event like the World Cup, the management needs to be ruthless and have to decide whether they should select Pakistan's best power hitter [Asif Ali] or go on reputation and play safe," added Raja.
The former captain turned cricket commentator also picked Abid Ali in the 15-Men squad, Abid made the heads turn after hitting a century on debut against Australia in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series.
“The best thing about Abid Ali is that he has a pretty good technique, and I believe that he would not perform badly in English conditions where the ball is moving, because he plays late and knows how to plan his game, so I believe that Pakistan should play a chance with him," added Raja.
The cricketing world biggest tournament is scheduled to be held in England and Wales from May 30.