Pakistan have named a 12-man squad for the first Test against Bangladesh, starting on Friday at the Zahoor Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium in Chattogram. Babar Azam will lead the side that includes only one uncapped player in Abdullah Shafique.
With Imran Butt dropped from the squad, Shafique is likely to open the innings with Abid Ali. However, Imam-Ul-Haq, recalled to the squad, seems to be the frontrunner as Ali's opening partner.
Shafique has had a short First-Class career so far; but he averages an impressive 86.33. The right-handed batsman has so far scored 259 runs in three First-Class innings, scoring two centuries.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan squad includes all the regular faces, ranging from Mohammad Rizwan to Shaheen Shah Afridi, as the tourists hope to draw first blood. Babar Azam and co were easily the better side in the three-match T20 series, whitewashing Bangladesh.
The hosts' batting unit failed to put on formidable totals despite batting first in all the games. The visitors also struggled on the challenging pitches, but their batting depth came to the fore in all the games.
Bangladesh will look for a turnaround in fortunes in red-ball cricket. It's worth noting that Bangladesh are yet to beat Pakistan in eleven previous meetings in the format. The last time the two sides met in Tests, Pakistan mauled their opposition by an innings and 44 runs in Rawalpindi.
For this game, The Tigers will be without the services of their premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The veteran failed to recover from a hamstring injury that had also cut short his 2021 World T20 campaign. Shakib Al Hasan could miss the second Test in Dhaka as well.
Pakistan's 12-man squad for the first Test against Bangladesh:
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk & vc), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-Ul-Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.