Karachi, Nov 30: Pakistan are unlikely to include senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf in their preliminary squad for World Cup 2011, as he has failed to impress selectors with his form and fitness in recent times.
According to well-placed sources, although Yousuf is one of the most prolific Pakistan batsmen of all time and keen to feature in the country's World Cup campaign, he is likely to be snubbed when Pakistan name their 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup to be hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh next year, The News reports.
Sources revealed that Pakistan's chief selector Mohsin Khan had discussed the best possible pool of players for the World Cup with One-day International captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis, and neither of them was convinced that Yousuf justified a spot in Pakistan's World Cup squad.
The national selection committee is also reluctant to push for Yousuf's case, especially after the batsman was forced to pull out of the Test series against South Africa in the UAE earlier this month due to the recurrence of an old groin injury.
"There is still a question mark on Yousuf's fitness," said a source, adding, "World Cup is a long and exhaustive tournament and the selectors want to make it sure that only fully fit players are picked to feature in it."
Yousuf has often been criticised for his below-average fielding, which is another reason why Pakistan are mulling over the option of just picking him for Tests in future.
Another factor that could play a significant role in Yousuf's axing from Pakistan's ODI and Twenty20 squads is that younger batsmen like Asad Shafiq have made their presence strongly felt in the last few months.
"While Yousuf seems to be on his way down, younger batsmen like Asad Shafiq are making it increasingly difficult for selectors to ignore them," said the source.
Yousuf is counted among the best batsmen of his generation, amassing 7530 runs in 90 Tests at an average of 52.29, and hitting 24 centuries. His ODI record is equally impressive with a tally of 9720 runs from 288 outings at 41.71.
However, his performance graph has dipped in recent times, as he has not reached a fifty in his last eight ODI outings. The last of his 15 ODI tons came more than 30 months ago against Bangladesh in April 2008.