Pakistan's interim selection committee add 3 new players to Test squad to face New Zealand

England and Pakistan Nets Session
England and Pakistan Nets Session

Pakistan's interim men's team's selection panel have included three more players in the Test squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand starting on Monday (December 26) in Karachi. Mir Hamza, Sajid Khan and Shahnawaz Dahani have been added to the squad.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said that the decision came after the selection panel's meeting, chaired by Shahid Afridi, who along with captain Babar Azam, joined a session through a video link. Left-arm medium bowler Hamza's only Test was against Australia against Abu Dhabi in October 2018, where he took only one wicket.

Three players added to Pakistan Test squadMore details ➡️…#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai

Nevertheless, the 30-year-old has taken 16 wickets in four Quaid-e-Azam Trophy games, while off-spinner Sajid Khan has scooped up 21 scalps in seven outings. He faced the axe after an underwhelming series against Australia at home. Meanwhile, Dahani is yet to play a Test but has played two ODIs and 11 T20Is.

Talking about the selections, Afridi sounded confident that the trio will give Babar Azam more wicket-taking options. As quoted by the PCB website, the former Pakistan captain said:

“We had a good discussion on the squad and agreed we needed to strengthen our bowling department to give ourselves the best chance of taking 20 wickets in a match. As such, and taking into consideration recent form and performances, we have added fast bowlers Mir Hamza and Shahnawaz Dahani, and off-spinner Sajid Khan. I am confident the inclusion of three additional bowling resources will give Babar Azam more options to field the best available squad for the first Test."

Meanwhile, Karachi will host the second Test against New Zealand due to deteriorating weather conditions, with the game set to start on January 2 instead of 3. The two boards also agreed to bring the schedule of the ODI series forward by a day, with the 50-over games to take place on January 9, 11 and 13.

Pakistan's updated squad for New Zealand Test series

Pakistan and New Zealand teams train for the Test series 🎯#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai

Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Sajid Khan, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Zahid Mehmood

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Edited by Bhargav
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