Test squad Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Ali, Shan Masood, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Saud Shakeel, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed
Pakistan have handed maiden call-ups to legspinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Mohammad Ali for the home Test series against England next month. The selectors also dropped Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali, who had been part of the Sri Lanka tour in July earlier this year.
Abrar, a 24-year-old legspinner from Sindh, is currently the leading wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with a tally of 43 from six games at an average of 21.95, including five five-fors. Central Punjab’s Mohammad Ali has been among the top fast bowlers in first-class cricket in Pakistan in the last two seasons with a combined 56 wickets. His 24 wickets in the current QeA season, including two five-wicket hauls, at 25.54 from six matches are the most for any fast bowler as the two bowlers above him are spinners: Abrar and Mubasir Khan. Last season, his 32 wickets at 22.78 in eight matches were also the most for a fast bowler as he finished only behind left-arm spinner Ali Usman.
The first Test will begin on December 1 in Rawalpindi followed by the second in Multan from December 9 and third in Karachi from December 17. The opening Test will be England’s first on Pakistan soil in 17 years, and will go ahead in Rawalpindi as planned originally, after the potential of a political unrest had raised the prospects of a switch to Karachi.