Pakistan name 20-man squad for South Africa test series

Pakistan cricket board and selectuion panel have named a 20-man team, which includes nine uncapped players, for the two-Test series against South Africa, which begins on 26 January. The players will follow the bio-secure bubble from 19 January and the squad will be shortened to 16 players before the first Test.

Openers Abdullah Shafique and Imran Butt, middle-order batsmen Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha and Saud Shakeel, spinners Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan, and fast bowlers Haris Rauf and Tabish Khan have been rewarded for their splendid performances in the domestic season as they included in the squad.

Hasan Ali coming back to the Test side after two years after a successful Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in which he was named player of the final and player of the tournament. Hasan Ali’s last Test appearance was against South Africa in Johannesburg, he took 43 wickets and scored 273 runs in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz also back in team who took 22 wickets and scored 744 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He last played a Test against the West Indies in Sharjah in 2016.

Nawaz and Faheem Ashraf are selected as the two-all-rounders in a side that also includes three openers, six middle-order batsmen, two wicketkeepers, three spinners and four fast bowlers.

While some of players not included for this series are Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Shan Masood and Zafar Gohar, who played in the last Test in Christchurch.

Fast bowler Naseem Shah was not considered for selection after complaining of a niggle in his hamstring. He will shortly commence his rehabilitation programme at the National High Performance Centre.

The 20-player squad is:

Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab) and Imran Butt (Balochistan), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Babar Azam (captain, Central Punjab), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab) and Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab) and Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Yasir Shah (Balochistan), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Tabish Khan (Sindh)

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