The Pakistan Cricket Team has announced a 15-member squad ahead of their T20I series opener against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland on December 18.
Pakistan is currently in New Zealand where they will lock horns with the BlackCaps in a series of three Twenty20 Internationals followed by two ICC Test Championship matches.
The visitors were dealt with a body-blow in the lead-up to the three-match T20I series after their skipper and the No.2 ranked T20I batsman in the world, Babar Azam was ruled out of the rubber due to a thumb injury.
Leg-spinning all-rounder and Shadab Khan’s participation had also come in jeopardy after he complained of a groin niggle. However, the leg-spinner has recovered in time from his injury and he will now lead the team in the first T20I, and possibly the rest of the white-ball fixtures.
Squad for the first #NZvPAK T20I:
Shadab Khan (c)
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Wahab Riaz#backtheboysingreen pic.twitter.com/sL9Abp9GPV
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 17, 2020
As far as the squad is concerned, two young guns in Haider Ali, who made his international debut against England earlier this year, and Abdullah Shafique, who has impressed in domestic cricket and PSL this season, are the notable inclusions followed by usual suspects like Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Iftikhar Ahmed Faheem Ashraf and Khushdil Shah have been picked as the four all-rounders while Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed are two stumpers in the 15-men squad.
Hussain Talat has received his first call-up to the T20I squad since the 2019 tour of South Africa while Wahab Riaz, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi have been picked in the pacers department.
Pakistan squad for the first T20I-
Shadab Khan (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain