Pakistan has announced the squad of the first Test against South Africa scheduled to begin on January 26 in Karachi. Out of 20 players available, the host finally selected 17 players in the squad for the first Test since the pandemic at their home.
Finally, Babar Azam will also be leading the team in the first Test series as a captain. In the New Zealand tour, he sustained an injury and thus, could not play a match. The stand-in captain of the New Zealand Test series Mohammad Rizwan is also in the squad. He has also become the first choice wicket-keeper of Pakistan even though Sarfaraz Ahmed is also included in the squad.
Imran Bhatt and Hasan Ali in Pakistan’s 17-man squad for the first Test:
Shan Masood has been dropped from the squad because of a terrible New Zealand tour. He scored only 10 runs with three ducks. His then opening partner Abid Ali, who also didn’t have a great time on the New Zealand tour scoring 76 runs in four innings, is in the squad. Imran Butt looks set for a Test debut as only two openers have been named in the squad.
After a long hiatus because of an injury, the pacer Hasan Ali has also returned to the squad. The middle-order looks solid for the hosts with the presence of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam in the line-up while Saud Shakeel is also part of the team.
Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Tabish Khan make up the rest of the pace attack. Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz are the two all-rounders in the squad with Yasir Shah, Sajid Khan and Nauman Ali boosting the spin attack.
Pakistan squad for the first Test: Babar Azam (Captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Sajid Khan, Tabish Khan, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali and Hassan Ali.