What's the story?
Pakistan have announced a 16-man squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Fawad Alam makes his return to the Test side after impressing in the domestic circuit, while Usman Shinwari has replaced Mohammad Musa in the squad.
Pakistan had a disastrous outing in their first series under the ICC World Test Championship banner as they were mauled by Australia.
Azhar Ali's men will now play a home Test series against Sri Lanka. This is the first time in ten years that Pakistan will host a Test match, having previously played their home matches in the United Arab Emirates.
The Sri Lankan team paid a visit to Pakistan earlier this year and, after being provided assurances with regards to the security arrangements, have decided to go ahead with the Test series.
The heart of the matter
Pakistan's coach-cum-selector Misbah-ul-Haq congratulated Fawad Alam for making his comeback to the Test squad, saying:
"I want to congratulate Fawad Alam on his selection for the Sri Lanka Tests. It is a reward for his continued hard work, perseverance and dedication to the game. His selection is not only a lesson to the emerging cricketers but also a testament of the selectors' policy of valuing domestic cricket and rewarding consistent performers."
Alam last played a Test match back in 2009 against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Usman Shinwari who has represented Pakistan in the limited-overs formats, has also been called up to the Test squad. Talking about his inclusion, Misbah added:
"Usman Shinwari has been drafted into the side as he has been part of the Pakistan cricket team set-up for the past few years, which is backed up with his fitness, form and ability to bowl long spells at a good pace, which was evident during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. I am sure he will make up a good combination with Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Naeem Shah and Shaheen Afridi.
Pakistan Test squad for series against Sri Lanka: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari
The two-match series will begin from 11th December and it will be interesting to see how Pakistan fare in their first home series of the ICC World Test Championship.Published 07 Dec 2019, 21:33 IST