South Africa vs Pakistan: PCB announces the 16-man squad for the Test series

The Test series will commence on December 26.

Yasir Shah
Pakistan. (Photo Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Even as Pakistan is fighting it out to save the third and final Test match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the squad for the South Africa tour. In what turns out to be the first Test series after Mohammad Hafeez’s retirement, Shan Masood is set to replace him at the top of the order after pummeling runs in the domestic circuit and for Pakistan A side. However, Mohammad Amir returns to the line-up as well which marks his comeback after missing out on home series.

Also, Fakhar Zaman seems to have recovered from his injury as he has been included while the teenager Shaheen Afridi has also made it to the flight to the rainbow nation. A total of four fast bowlers along with the pace-bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf will look to make the most of the helpful conditions in South Africa.

Bilal Asif dropped

The 16-man squad comprises of two leg-spinners Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan while the off-spinner Bilal Asif has been dropped from the side despite picking a five-wicket haul in the ongoing game against New Zealand in the first innings. The four-pronged pace attack though looks menacing with Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali and Afridi in the line-up.

Mohammad Rizwan has also been picked as the backup wicketkeeper for the skipper Sarfraz Ahmed. Interestingly, the selectors haven’t picked any extra specialist batsman apart from a cushion at the opening slot. They seem to have a lot of faith in the existing group of batsmen and it will be interesting to see how they fare in testing conditions.

Pakistan Test squad: Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi.

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