Sarfaraz Ahmed marks comeback as Pakistan announce 18-member squad for home Tests against England

England will be visiting Pakistan for a three-match Test series starting December 1.

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Pakistan Cricket Team (Photo Source: Twitter)
Karthik Nair
KARTHIK NAIR

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After Pakistan’s impressive ICC T20 World Cup 2022 campaign that saw them make the finals, the action now moves to the bilateral series as the Men in Green gear up to host England in a three-match Test series starting December 1.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on its official social media handles has announced the 18-member squad for their upcoming red-ball fixtures against the Three Lions. The team will be led by the modern-day batting sensation Babar Azam.

Babar Azam to lead Pakistan in England Tests

What is surprising here is that former skipper and veteran wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed has been recalled to the Pakistan Test squad. However, with  Mohammad Rizwan already having established himself as their wicketkeeper-batter across formats, it remains to be seen whether Ahmed could get a chance to feature in the playing XI for this series.

Senior players including the likes of Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq  etc. have been included in the squad for England Tests. However, veteran middle-order batter and Test specialist Fawad Alam has been excluded from the upcoming series.

Pakistan's pace attack comprises the likes of Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim jr, Naseem Shah. Even though the hosts have a strong fast bowling lineup, they will be without the services of their pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi.

Shaheen landed awkwardly on his knee after successfully taking Harry Brook's catch in the T20 World Cup final against England at the MCG last weekend. He was in deep discomfort and could not complete his spell as he left the field midway.

The tall speedster will undergo a rehabilitation and condititioning programme at the National High-Performance Centre and is expected to make a speedy comeback after the two weeks of this process according to the PCB.

England had won the first leg of this series (4-3 win in the seven T20Is) and Pakistan would now be hoping to make amends by winning the red-ball leg.

The first Test will be played in Rawalpindi. The next two games will be played in Multan and the National Stadium in Karachi on December 9 and 17 respectively.

Here's Pakistan's 18-member squad for England Tests:

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim jr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, Zahid Mehmood