Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 17-member squad for the first Test against South Africa starting from January 26 (Tuesday) at the National Stadium in Karachi. In what will be Babar Azam’s first Test as captain, he will have relatively a young side with six players yet to make their debut.
Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan will partner Yasir Shah in the spin department, while the pace attack includes Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, and Tabish Khan, alongside Hasan Ali. Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz are the only two all-rounders in the squad. Hasan Ali makes a comeback in the squad on the back of strong performances in the domestic circuit.
Hasan Ali makes a comeback to Pakistan squad
Meanwhile, they have left out Abdullah Shafique, Kamran Ghulam, and Salman Ali Agha from the players who were named in the probable squad. Pakistan had left out Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas, and Haris Sohail from the squad that had lost the Test series in New Zealand. Legspinner Shadab Khan remains on the sidelines with his groin injury while Naseem Shah’s hamstring niggle keeps him out.
The Men in Greens continue to chop and change their players under the new chairman of selectors, Mohammad Wasim. This comes as a surprise after batting coach Waqar Younis voiced the need to retain players for longer periods of time in order to not only enable the players to play freely but also give the coaches ample time to work with them.
The second Test will be played in Rawalpindi from February 4-8. Post that, the two teams will compete in three T20 Internationals in Lahore on February 11, 13, and 14.
Pakistan squad for 1st Test: Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan