26-year-old all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and 34-year-old off-spinner Bilal Asif have been recalled in the Pakistan squad for the first Test against Bangladesh that will be played in Rawalpindi from February 7.
Ashraf had made a promising start to his career when he scored 83 against Ireland but was always surrounded by injury concerns. He was not in the scheme of things in the red-ball format after the South Africa tour in January 2019.
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Bilal, on the other hand, has played five Tests for Pakistan so far but last featured against New Zealand in December 2018. Head coach Misbah-ul Haq has shown faith in Ashraf's ability and is hopeful that he would be able to replicate his domestic form on the international stage.
Misbah was quoted as saying by TOI,
"We have this option of playing a pace-bowling allrounder against Bangladesh and Ashraf took five wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy final so we have selected him."
Although Bangladesh were comprehensively beaten by Pakistan in the T20I series 2-0, Misbah doesn't want to underestimate the opposition and believes his side would have to be at their best in order to beat the visitors in the longest format of the game.
"There is no guarantee that if a team doesn't do well in one format then it will not do better in the other format as well. They are a gritty team and will be under no pressure."
Pakistan Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Bilal Asif, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.Published 01 Feb 2020, 17:02 IST