Pakistan Names Five Debutants in the Test Tour to England
By P - Apr 15, 2018 9:49 am
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Pakistan cricket board has announced its 16-man Test squad today to tour England and Ireland in late May 2018. The Pakistani team shall play two first-class matches in England, one-off Test against Ireland and then they will come back to England to play two Tests. The tour begins from 28th April with a match against Kent.

Pakistan have announced the squad for England tour (Photo: AFP)

Sarfraz Ahmed will continue to captain the Test side. The side is full of youngsters, mostly batsmen who have done well in the recent Pakistan Super League and have impressed in the Pakistani first-class structure as well. Batsmen Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali have been chosen to represent Pakistan in the Test series. While Faheem Ashraf who has been in superb form lately has been selected for the Tests for the first time.

Saad Ali is the only batsman to have made it to this stage on the back of his performance in Pakistan’s domestic first-class competition, the Quaid-E-Azam Trophy. He scored at an average of 68 in the series while no other came close to him in topping the run-charts.

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Fakhar Zaman has caused a few eyebrows to raise since he is primarily known as a limited-overs batsman but he came into reckoning initially on the weight of his first-class runs. Shadab Khan also returns to the team. He will have the toughest task – to replace Yasir Shah.

In their last tour to England in 2016, Pakistan drew the four-match Test series with a 2-2 scoreline. In the 4th Test, they cruised to a 10 wickets win thanks to Younis Khan and Yasir Shah. The selected young squad will have to match up to the Test standard as England will be eager to get back on the winning ways.

Inzamam Ul Haq explaining the rationale behind selecting such a young squad said “We’ve tried to strengthen our batting line-up. Also, we’ve borne in mind that the World Cup next year is in England. So we’ve decided to call up several young players to give them exposure to those conditions. This is a great opportunity for us, particularly our batsmen to gain experience in this conditions.”

In bowling, Pakistan has decided to do away with Wahab Riaz as he has not achieved the desired fitness as per the standards of the coach Micky Arthur. He has been replaced by Rahat Ali. Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali will lead the bowling attack.

Full Squad:

Sarfraz Ahmed (C & WK), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali,Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf