M. Abbas, Naseem Shah return to Pakistan Test squad
Pakistan has named their squads for upcoming West Indies and England tours. Pacers Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas return to Tests. Azam Khan and Imad Wasim have been named in T20I squads that will take on West Indies and England. After the West Indies tour. Pakistan will travel to England for the limited-overs series.
Abbas was dropped for the last two Test series Pakistan played, at home against South Africa and in Zimbabwe. But has forced his way back into contention after impressing in the County Championship in England. Shah, meanwhile, was dealing with a back issue that kept him out for much of the last year.
Azam Khan has been called up to the T20I squad for the first time. The wicketkeeper-batter has impressed on occasion for the Quetta Gladiators in the PSL and was one of the more explosive batsmen in the National T20 Cup last year.
Here was also a return for Imad Wasim, who last donned international colors in December last year, in the T20I squad. The 32-year-old allrounder missed Pakistan’s T20I series against South Africa at home and away, as well as the series against Zimbabwe, and hasn’t played any cricket since the PSL was postponed in early March. Pakistan is due to play three T20Is against England in July, followed by a further five in the West Indies.
Haris Sohail returned to the 50-over side after missing out in the series against South Africa. The left-hand batter was one of the star performers at the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan, but with the side only playing a handful of ODIs since, has struggled to nail a spot. Saud Shakeel, meanwhile, was also after missing out on the same series because of an injury.
“We have remained consistent in our selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while,” chief selector Mohammad Wasim said. “This is an extremely important and critical tour for Pakistan as we will be playing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against England as well as the T20Is against England and the West Indies as part of our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Jamaica Test will count towards the ICC World Test Championship.
“As such, keeping in view the above and in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, we have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges.
“Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE and he enjoys an excellent record there. The players who have missed on selection will remain part of our strategy, and, as such, they will continue to work on their technical game at the National High-Performance Centre under the watchful eyes of Mohammad Yousuf and Saqlain Mushtaq.”
Pakistan leaves for Manchester on June 25 to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in England. Before flying to Barbados, where they will play the first of five T20Is against the West Indies. Those are followed by two Tests at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Tests: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-capt, wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness), Zahid Mahmood.
ODIs: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan (vice-capt), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir.
T20Is: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan (vice-capt), Arshad Iqbal, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Usman Qadir.
Source: ESPN Cricinfo