Pakistan have announced a combined 29-man Test and T20I squad for their upcoming tour of England in August-September.
They are scheduled to play three Tests and three T20Is. The T20I series will begin after the Tests, but with Covid-19 restrictions in place, all the players will stay in England for the course of both the three-match series.
The 29-man squad includes Haider Ali, the 19-year-old batsman who represented Pakistan at the U19 World Cup earlier this year. Along with Haider, Kashif Bhatti is the other uncapped player.
“The selectors have picked a squad which gives us the best chance of success in England,” Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector said in a PCB release. “It was a challenging process as the players have not played for an extended period of time, but nevertheless, with the month that we will have in England and the intense training we will undergo, we are confident we will get the players up to the mark to be ready for the three Tests.
“But the main focus of the selectors has been red-ball cricket, which we will play for nearly two months with the T20Is to be played at the backend of the ICC World Test Championship fixtures.
“The series against England will be challenging as our players have not played any competitive cricket since March, while the home team will come following a series against the West Indies. This means we will have to hit the ground running as soon as we land in England and make the best use of the training sessions and match practice before we enter the first Test.”
Quick bowler Sohail Khan, who last represented Pakistan in a T20I in 2017, makes a return.
“Sohail Khan has been recalled to further strengthen our fast bowling department,” Misbah said. “He had two five-fors when he last played in England in 2016. The selectors also felt he bowled much better in the 2019-20 domestic season than his figures reflected.”
Pakistan’s 29-man squad
Openers – Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood
Middle-order – Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik
Wicketkeepers – Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed
Fast bowlers – Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz
Spinners – Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.