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World Test Championship

Pakistan make big calls in squad for England Tests

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Pakistan have announced their 18-member squad for the three-match World Test Championship series against England in December.

Amongst the omissions, notable names include batter Fawad Alam, fast bowler Hasan Ali, leg-spinner Yasir Shah and fast bowler Shaheen Afridi.

Afridi is still recovering from a knee injury, and also recently underwent surgery on his appendix.

A lean patch in 2022 has cost Fawad a place in the squad. He scored only 58 runs in four Tests this year after enjoying an incredible 2021 where he made 571 runs in nine Tests.

Hasan Ali also misses out after taking only five wickets in his last four Tests. 

The 18-member list includes uncapped fast bowler Mohammad Ali and Abrar Ahmed, a mystery spinner. Haris Rauf is in line to make his Test debut after impressing with his express pace in the white-ball formats.

Video cwc19 09 Nov 22
Haris Rauf explodes against New Zealand to set up Pakistan victory | POTM Highlights | T20WC 2021
Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf was player of the match for taking 4/22 against New Zealand at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021

Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood, Saud Shakeel, Salman Agha, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Abrar Ahmed, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Nawaz, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Ali.

Speaking about the squad for the series, Pakistan Men's chief selector Mohammad Wasim said: “This series has provided opportunities to Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Zahid Mehmood. 

"Abrar has been on the radar since his debut first-class season in 2020-21. He is in outstanding form this season, so it makes sense to make him available to Babar Azam so he can use the confidence and talent of this youngster in the upcoming series."

The series will be crucial for Pakistan to keep their hopes of making the World Test Championship Final alive. Babar Azam's men are currently placed fifth with a point percentage of 51.85 and winning their remaining five games will take them to 69.05%.

Though it may prove to be enough to seal a spot in the final two, they cannot afford any more slip-ups in their remaining series against England and New Zealand. 

The three-match series is a historic one for Pakistan, who are set to welcome England for the first time since 2005 to play Test cricket. Rawalpindi will host the first Test (1-5 December) before the action moves to Karachi (9-13 December) and Multan (17-21 December) for the subsequent games.

 

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