The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has named an 18-man squad for the home Test series against England. Pakistan will play the defending white-ball cricket champions for three games in the longest format, beginning on December 1.
Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Ali will make their debuts in this series. Haris Rauf, after an impressive outing Down Under, has also earned a spot in the Test squad. He will replace the injured Shaheen Afridi.
Two notable players missing from the team are veterans Yasir Shah and Fawad Alam. Both Shah and Alam represented Pakistan in their last Test series, which was against Sri Lanka prior to the T20I World Cup.
Many fans are upset with the decision to drop Shah and Alam. They have questioned the PCB for their selection criteria in an important series against England.
Here are some of the best reactions from Pakistan cricket fans on Twitter:
Alam failed to make an impact against Sri Lanka. He scored just 25 runs across two innings. He was also poor in Pakistan's previous Test outing against Australia, scoring 33 runs across four innings.
Shah was put on the reserves team for the Australia assignment but made a strong comeback against Sri Lanka, scalping nine wickets in two Test matches.
Both England and Pakistan have very little chance of qualifying for the final of the World Test Championship
Pakistan will play England across three Tests in December. The venues for the games will be Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi. The red-ball series is part of the World Test Championship.
Pakistan are fifth in the WTC rankings, with 56 points and a win percentage of 51.85. England are two places further down in seventh, with 88 points and a 38.6 win percentage. Needless to say, the chances of either team qualifying for the final of the Championship are very slim.
Here's Pakistan's squad for the three Tests against England:
Squad: Babar Azam, 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.