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Pakistan announce 16-man squad for the Sri Lanka series

Pakistan will host Sri Lanka for two Tests in the UAE.

Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq announced the 16-member squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in the UAE. This will be their first Test series since May when they toured West Indies and was the last outing for Younis Khan and former skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

As expected Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side with Asad Shafiq as his deputy. To fill in the huge shoes of the two retired legends, Pakistan have roped in Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin who will have a huge responsibility on their inexperienced shoulders.

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Yasir and Azhar fit to play

In a huge positive for them, leg-spinner Yasir Shah passed the fitness test and thus was included in the squad. He has two rookie spinners for company in left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar and off-spinner Bilal Asif. While Asif has played 3 ODIs for Pakistan awaits his opportunity to make a Test debut with an experience of 15 first-class games under his belt. 18-year-old Asghar, on the other hand, will be eager to earn his maiden national cap in the series.

Azhar Ali, who had troubles with his knee, has passed the fitness test as well and thus was included in the squad. While Ahmed Shehzad despite a decent show on national comeback failed to earn a spot in the Test team. The selection committee also decided to exclude all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and leg-spinner Shadab Khan from the team for the series. batsman Ahmed Shehzad also failed to impress selectors with his performance in first-class cricket last season.

Talking about the leg-spinner and the impact he will have in the UAE Inzamam said, “Yasir Shah has been our best bowler over the recent years,” he said.

25-year-old left-arm pacer Mir Hamza who is also a part of the team, has his first-class numbers speak volumes of his calibre. He has played 46 FC matches and picked a whopping 216 wickets at an average of 19.15.

Pakistan squad for the Test series:

Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq (vice-captain), Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Asghar, Bilal Asif

Fixtures

1st Test- September 28 – October 02, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka | Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

2nd Test- October 06 – October 10, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka | Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

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