Pakistan, on Saturday (September 23), announced the 16-member squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq revealed the names while addressing a press conference in Lahore.
Pakistan, who will be starting a new journey under the new captain Sarfraz Ahmed, have included uncapped fast bowler Mir Hamza while middle-order batsmen Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin – both of whom are uncapped in the longest format of the game- have been included to replace the retired duo Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.
Hamza earned his maiden call-up for his impressive showing in the first-class cricket, where he has taken 216 wickets in 46 games at an outstanding average of 19.15.
Meanwhile, spin spearhead Yasir Shah and former skipper Azhar Ali have also made it to the squad after passing the fitness test. Some notable absentees from the squad are veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and opener Ahmed Shehzad. Hafeez, last appeared in Tests during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2016 while Shehzad, who was one of Pakistan’s top-performer in the T20I series against World XI, was a part of the squad for the series in West Indies earlier this year. However, both have failed to make a cut this time.
The two-match series will begin in Abu Dhabi on September 28 before both the teams take on each other in the next match with the pink ball under the floodlights. The match will be Sri Lanka’s first while the hosts will be getting a taste of the Day-Night Test for the second time, having hosted Windies for a pink-ball match last year. The Test series will be followed by five ODIs and three T20Is.
Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Abbas, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza and Wahab Riaz.