Zaman, Imam, Ali receive maiden Test call-ups


15 April, 2018 15:39 PM

Zaman, Imam, Ali receive maiden Test call-ups

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No place for opener Shan Masood or experienced pacer Wahab Riaz in the 16-member squad for the tour of Ireland and England.

Pakistan named a mix of youth and experience for their tour of Ireland and England, which begins in the second week of May.

Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Saad Ali received maiden Test call-ups. There was no place for opener Shan Masood or experienced pacer Wahab Riaz in the 16-member squad announced by Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan Cricket Board chief selector, on Sunday 15 April.

Faheem Ashraf, the all-rounder, made it to the Test squad on the back of some impressive performances in the shorter formats of the game. His medium pace can come handy in the conditions in Ireland and England.

Imam, who made a century on one-day international debut against Sri Lanka late last year, was given a chance in the longer format of the game.

Ali has been in stellar form in Pakistan's first-class circuit, having scored 3473 runs in 50 games at an impressive 46.93. His highest score of 232 came earlier this season.

Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sami Aslam and Babar Azam form the crux of the batting unit with Sarfraz Ahmed leading the side again.

Mohammad Amir will lead a relatively inexperienced pace attack, which includes Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas and Rahat Ali.

Pakistan will be without the services of Yasir Shah, who misses out due to a hip injury. Attempting to make up for his absence will be Shadab Khan, who has played a solitary Test so far, against the Windies last year. With Shadab being the only spin bowling option, Haris Sohail might be required to fill in a few overs in the middle with his slow left-arm spin.

"Yasir's absence is a big loss for us," said Inzamam. "If we look at his numbers for the last two years, he has more wickets than any other bowler for Pakistan. He was our strike bowler, all the games we've won he played a big part in. I hope he recovers quickly from his injury because we have some big home Test series coming up after this series too, and we will need him in the UAE."

Pakistan start their tour with a four-day warm-up game against Kent before playing a historic one-off Test against Ireland. The 11 May Test will be Ireland’s first ever. Pakistan then travel to England for a two-Test series from 24 May.

Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Sami Aslam, Imam ul Haq, Babar Azam, Usman Sallahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Saad Ali, Faheem Ashraf.