After more than a decade of being overlooked by national selectors, batsman Fawad Alam was made part of Pakistan’s national Test squad that was announced on Saturday for the upcoming Test matches against Bangladesh.
The batsman, who has a 40-plus batting average in both Tests and ODIs, was also included in the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka last year, but did not make it to the final team. It remains to be seen if he will be included in the playing 11 in the upcoming Tests.
He played his last international Test match in November 2009.
Though his international numbers are rare, his domestic statistics are outstanding which has led spectators to question why selectors have refused to include him in the national team.
Chief selector Misbahul Haq announces Test squad for upcoming Tests against Bangladesh in a press conference in Lahore
Head coach and chief selector Misbahul Haq announced the 16-member squad for upcoming Test matches against Bangladesh, in a press conference in Lahore today.
Azhar Ali will captain the team while bowler Bilal Asif and all-rounder Fahim Ashraf have been recalled. Batsmen Shan Masood and Babar Azam, who starred in the Test matches against Sri Lanka in December last year, have been retained.
Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Imamul Haq and Haris Sohail are also part of the squad.
Bowlers Naseem Shah, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Imran Khan (senior) have also been included in the team. Mohammad Rizwan has also been retained.
According to a press release by Pakistan Cricket Board, Asif has been recalled after he picked 43 wickets in nine Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches, while Ashraf has been included due to “his all-round skills that were backed by his six wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final against Northern”.
Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari have been dropped, the press release added.
While talking to reporters today, Misbah hoped that the team will hold on to the same momentum seen in the Test series against Sri Lanka, which Pakistan won by 1-0.
He expressed confidence that the team will perform well as long as it focuses on its performance.
Bangladesh will play the first ICC World Test Championship fixture, starting from February 7, in Rawalpindi.
After a gap — during which the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 will be played.
Bangladesh will return to play an ODI in Karachi on April 3 and the second ICC World Test Championship fixture, starting on April 5 in Rawalpindi.
Last month, Pakistan handed two consecutive defeats to Bangladesh to clinch the Twenty20 series and at the same time, succeeding in retaining the top spot.
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