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.
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.