The Pakistan men’s cricket team was announced today by national selectors for the two Tests against Bangladesh, which will be played in Chittagong (26-30 November) and Dhaka (4-8 December).
Imam-Ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, and Bilal Asif have been named to the 20-man squad, replacing Haris Rauf, Imran Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Yasir Shah, who were part of the 21-man squad that toured the West Indies in July/August.
Imam, a left-handed batsman, has been recalled following his outstanding performances in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, in which he has amassed 488 runs in five innings across four matches, including an unbeaten double-century.
Imam had played his 11th and final Test against Australia in November/December 2019 in Adelaide.
Bilal has taken over for Yasir Shah, who is still recovering from a thumb injury sustained during the National T20 tournament and has yet to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. The off-spinner has taken 16 wickets in five Tests and has been drafted into the side because Bangladesh’s squad includes left-handed batters and because of the upcoming home Tests against Australia.
After missing the West Indies tour, Kamran has returned to the team. After scoring a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy record of 1,249 runs in the 2020-21 season, he was named to the squad for the home series against South Africa. Kamran is currently playing for the Pakistan Shaheens in Sri Lanka, where he scored 58 not out and 45 runs in two innings of the rain-affected two-match four-day series.
Here is the complete Pakistan Test squad:
Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab)
Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab)
Abid Ali (Central Punjab)
Azhar Ali (Central Punjab)
Bilal Asif (Central Punjab)
Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab)
Fawad Alam (Sindh)
Hasan Ali (Central Punjab)
Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab)
Mohammad Nawaz (Northern)
Naseem Shah (Southern Punjab)
Nauman Ali (Northern)
Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh)
Saud Shakeel (Sindh)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Zahid Mahmood (Sindh)
In this regard, Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim stated, “We selected the squad after discussions with team management and after taking into account the opposition’s potential make-up and the conditions in which the Tests will be played.”
“Because we already have four frontline fast bowlers, we’ve allowed Haris Rauf and Shahnawaz Dahani to return to Pakistan after the T20Is to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and prepare for the Australia Tests.” Imran Butt, who scored 17.8 in 10 Test innings, has been replaced by an in-form left-handed Imam-Ul-Haq.
However, he has the opportunity to continue to play and perform in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in order to force his way back into the team.
“Bangladesh is a strong side in their home country, but we have the resources, talent, and experience to perform well and then carry that momentum into the Australia Tests, which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship.”