Test cricket is set to return to Pakistan for the first time since 2009 when the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by the terrorists. The same team has agreed to play the two-match series starting from December 11. The visitors have also named a full-strength squad and Pakistan has also now announced their team for the contest. Finally, the domestic veteran Fawad Alam has bee included in the squad after plundering runs at will.
The left-hander has made a comeback to the Test set up after more than a decade having last played for Pakistan in November 2009 against New Zealand. Fawad Alam has replaced Iftikhar Ahmed in the team who scored only 44 runs in four innings in Australia. Only other change in the squad which lost 0-2 Down Under earlier this month is the left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari replacing the 19-year-old Mohammad Musa.
Naseem Shah who made headlines with his pace and bowling at The Gabba has retained his place. He has been named in Pakistan squad for the U19 World Cup as well and will now miss the initial part of the preparatory camp in Lahore for the event. He will join his teammates after the conclusion of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test series. As far Usman is concerned, he is yet to make his Test debut despite playing 17 ODIs and 16 T20Is.
Can Pakistan bounce back from Australia debacle?
The 33-year-old Kashif Bhatti, the uncapped left-arm spinner, didn’t get a game in Australia but has kept his place in the squad. With the pitches at home likely to help the tweakers, he might make his debut in the upcoming series. Pakistan are coming off a disastrous Australia tour where they failed to win even a single game.
They lost both the Test matches by an innings margin and will be hoping to make amends in the home series against Sri Lanka. Having said that, this will also be a challenge for them as the majority of their players haven’t played a Test in Pakistan. The first of the two Tests is set to be played in Rawalpindi while Karachi will host the second and final game of the series.
Pakistan Test squad: Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali (C), Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.
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