Fawad Alam, the experienced batsman, was recalled to Pakistan’s Test squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, starting on December 11.
Pakistan 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 (wk), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari
Alam, who has over 12,000 first class runs to his name, last played a Test match versus New Zealand back in November 2009. In his brief Test career so far, Alam has also composed a Test century; versus Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2009. The southpaw has been in tremendous form in first class cricket this season, having scored four hundreds.
“I want to congratulate Fawad Alam on his selection for the Sri Lanka Tests. It is a reward for his continued hard work, perseverance and dedication to the game. His selection is not only a lesson to the emerging cricketers but also a testament of the selectors’ policy of valuing domestic cricket and rewarding consistent performers,” Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector, said.
Meanwhile, Usman Shinwari, the left-arm pacer, has earned a call-up to the Test squad. Shinwari, who has played 17 ODIs and 16 T20Is, is yet to play in a Test match. The pacer has a noteworthy record in first class cricket, with 90 scalps to his name at an average of just over 24.
“Usman Shinwari has been drafted into the side as he has been part of the Pakistan cricket team set-up for the past few years, which is backed up with his fitness, form and ability to bowl long spells at a good pace, which was evident during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. I am sure he will make up a good combination with Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Naeem Shah and Shaheen Afridi.
“Mohammad Musa will not be part of the squad, but he will remain with the side so that he can continue to work on his bowling with Waqar Younis,” Misbah noted.
Pakistan have dropped batting all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed and the young tearaway Musa Khan. Iftikhar could only amass 44 runs in the two Tests he played in Australia. Musa, who was selected in the Test squad to tour Australia after playing just seven first class games, ended up with disappointing figures of 0 for 114 on his Test debut in Adelaide. Naseem Shah, another youngster who made his Test debut in Australia, however, has been selected. He has also been picked for the U-19 World Cup to be held in South Africa in January and February next year.
Pakistan’s opening Test of the series will be played in Rawalpindi from December 11. The second and final Test of the rubber is scheduled to take place in Karachi from December 19. The series will mark the return of Test cricket to Pakistan since Sri Lanka toured the country in 2009.