Pakistan recall Bilal Asif and Faheem Ashraf for first Bangladesh Test
Pakistan have named veteran Bilal Asif and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf in a 16-man squad for their forthcoming Test against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi.
Azhar Ali's men edged Sri Lanka 1-0 in December and are looking to strengthen their World Test Championship prospects before the mid-year tour of England.
The first Test against ninth-ranked Bangladesh begins on February 11, with off-spinner Asif hoping to appear in the international arena for the first time since 2018.
Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari, neither of whom featured against Sri Lanka, have been omitted from the squad.
Pakistan names 16-player squad for Rawalpindi Test
More: https://t.co/k0M3JOju9e #PAKvBAN pic.twitter.com/pnr6GcWNOU — Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) February 1, 2020
Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said the 34-year-old and the versatile Faheem, a powerful hitter who bowls medium pace, have been called-up with a view to exploiting Bangladesh's left-handed batsmen.
"Following our convincing victory in Karachi, I don't envisage any major changes in the playing line-up but we have tried to cover all our bases just in case the wicket has any surprises for us," Misbah said in a statement.
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"We are aiming to collect maximum points from the two upcoming ICC World Test Championship matches against Bangladesh so that when we take the field for the Lord's Test against England on 30 July, we are in a strong contention for a top-two finish by the end of the 2020-21 season.
"This is what our aspiration is and that’s what are aiming and striving for."
The second and final Test will take place in April after the Bangladesh Cricket Board agreed to participate in a three-part tour.
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.Published 01 Feb 2020, 13:10 IST