Pakistan announce Test squad for England series; Fawad, Hasan dropped
Pakistan named an 18-man squad for the three-match Test series against England, starting December 1. Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, and Yasir Shah were some of the big omissions from the squad. Left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi is sidelined as he's currently undergoing rehab for his knee injury. Pakistan are currently seated fifth in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 standings. Here's more.
Big names set to miss the upcoming series
Middle-order batter Fawad failed to make the cut. The southpaw has had a poor run of form all throughout 2022, with merely 58 runs in four Tests. Seamer Hasan makes way for youngsters, after picking only five wickets in the last four Tests. Ace leg-spinner Yasir was omitted despite picking nine wickets on the Sri Lankan tour in July.
Shaheen's injury puts him out of contention
Shaheen picked up a knee injury in the ICC T20 World Cup final against England on November 13. He is undergoing two-week rehab for the same. In the meantime, he underwent an appendectomy on Sunday. As per a statement by PCB, "his return to international cricket is subject to the completion of his rehab programmer and following go-aheads by the medical staff."
Mohammad Ali, Abrar Ahmed earn maiden call-ups
30-year-old speedster Mohammad Ali, who plays for Central Punjab, has pocketed a staggering 56 wickets in his last two seasons of FC cricket in Pakistan. The right-armer has clocked 24 wickets across six matches in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, averaging 25.54. Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, who plays for Sindh, tops the bowling charts in the tournament. The 24-year-old leg-spinner owns 43 wickets at 21.95.
In-form Rauf could make his Test debut
Rauf, who is enjoying a rip-roaring form in white-ball cricket, could slot in for Shaheen in the England series. In FC cricket, the right-arm quick owns 31 wickets across eight matches since his debut in 2019, averaging 27.64. Faheem Ashraf has been recalled, after having last featured in the second Test against Australia in March. Naseem Shah and Mohammad Wasim join the duo.
Pakistan's Test squad for England series
Pakistan's Test squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood, Saud Shakeel, Salman Agha, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Abrar Ahmed, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Nawaz, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Ali.
Pakistan seek a top-two finish in ICC WTC 2021-23
Pakistan were held to a 1-1 draw in their last Test series against Sri Lanka. They are seated fifth in the ICC WTC standings (W4 L3 D2), with a Points Percentage (PCT) of 51.85 across four series. Australia (70), South Africa (60), Sri Lanka (53.33), and India (52.08) rank above them. Up next, they will host New Zealand for a two-match series in December-January.
Here's the head-to-head record (Tests)
England have toured Pakistan after a wait of 17 years. The Three Lions won the seven-match T20I series in September-October by a 4-3 margin. Overall, Pakistan enjoy a 21-26 win-loss record against England in the longest format (Draws: 39). At home, Pakistan have mustered a 4-2 record versus the Brits (D16). Notably, the hosts won the 2005 series by a 2-0 margin.