After a dismal performance on the Australian soil, Pakistan will be eager to salvage themselves at home. The Men in Green are scheduled to lock horns with Sri Lanka in two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi. This will be the first time Pakistan will be hosting a Test series in more than a decade. Sri Lanka were the last team to visit Pakistan for a Test series in 2009 when their outing was cut short by an attack on their team bus.
Ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan announced a 16-man squad on Saturday. The two notable inclusions in the squad were of Fawad Alam and Usman Shinwari. Alam, who donned the Test jersey for Pakistan in 2009, has returned to the side in place of Iftikhar Ahmed. Shinwari has also paved his way into the squad in place of Mohammad Musa.
Fawad Alam has been in sublime form in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and has so far scored four centuries playing for Sindh. Alam has donned the coloured jersey for Pakistan in 38 ODIs and 24 T20Is. However, he has represented Pakistan only in three Tests. Alam’s last Test appearance came in 2009 against New Zealand.
The 34-year-old will be eager to bounce back on the international stage after a decade. In 38 ODIs for Pakistan, Alam has amassed 966 runs at an average of 40.2 including a ton. His last ODI endeavor for the Men in Green was in 205 against Bangladesh. In his last six outings, he has played 116, 211, 65, 107, 29* and 92. Moreover, he has scored his last three hundred at National Stadium in Karachi, which is the scheduled venue for the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka.
Usman Shinwari, on the other hand, is yet to play any Test for Pakistan. In 17 ODIs, the 25-year-old has scalped 34 wickets including two five-wicket hauls. Having the experience of playing in several domestic leagues, the pacer will be eyeing to leave a mark against Sri Lanka. In an illustrious First-class career, Shinwari has picked up 90 wickets in 27 matches at an economy of 3.27.
Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq also lauded Fawad Alam’s recent form
Ahead of the series, Pakistan’s Umar Akmal has extended his wishes to Usman Shinwari and Fawad Alam for their inclusion in the national side. “Just saw our test team vs SL n a huge congrts to @Usmanshinwari6 n @iamfawadalam25 on their comback! let’s go, team,” tweeted Akmal.
— Umar Akmal (@Umar96Akmal) December 7, 2019
Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq also lauded Alam’s recent form in the domestic circuit. “Fawad’s selection is not based on just one year. It is an accumulation of his performances over five to six years. He has a career average of 57 and is in great form right now as well,” said Misbah on the right-hander.
The first match of the two-Test series will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from December 11 while the second Test will be held at the National Stadium in Karachi from December 19.
Squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Khan Shinwari.
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