Pakistan’s 18-member squad for the Test series against England has been announced while Shaheen Shah Afridi and Fawad Alam have not been included in the team.
Chief selector Mohammad Waseem while addressing a press conference in Lahore praised the performance of the national team in the T20 World Cup and said that the way team Pakistan came back after the defeats in the initial matches and reached the final especially with the kind of cricket played in the final, the team must be appreciated.
Mohammad Wasim announced the 18-member squad for the Test series against England while the other players include Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafiq, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mahmood.
The chief selector said that Saud Shakeel has been performing for the last three years. On the question of selecting Haris Rauf he said that heir were not many options available in red ball cricket and then some of our players including Shaheen Shah were also suffering from injuries.
On the question of dropping Fawad Alam from the squad Wasim said that the squad was selected by keeping in mind the current form of the players. Regarding Abid Ali the chief selector said that his return to domestic cricket is welcome but after the illness there has been a gap in his performance. On the question of leg-spinner Yasir Shah he said that Yasir has a little form problem and that was why we decided to give Zahid Mahmood a chance this time.
“England are playing well in all three formats, they are playing aggressive cricket in Tests as well, but we have the advantage of home conditions which are more suitable for us, which hopefully the team will try to take advantage of, “ Waseem added.
He said that a lot of options have been available in white ball cricket but were limited in the red ball. He said that Shaheen will be missed and Naseem Shah will lead the bowling attack, Mohammad Ali is going to continue good form in domestic.
Mohammad Ali, a 30-year-old fast bowler selected in the national team, took 32 wickets at an average of 22 in eight matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy last year and was the most successful fast bowler. Similarly young leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed took 17 wickets in just two matches in the first domestic format last year.