Pakistan has named their squad for the first Test against Australia. They have named a spin-heavy squad and have also recalled the experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. The news has been confirmed by skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Meanwhile, off-spinner Bilal Asif is all set to make his Test debut in the series opener which is slated to be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The news was made public by Sarfaraz Ahmed to the reporters ahead of the 1st Test against Australia.
There are chances that Pakistan might be tempted to field another debutant. Mir Hamza might get the nod over left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz for the final spot in the Playing XI. The Pakistan skipper said that he will only take a decision on Sunday morning on which of these two quicks will be part of the Playing XI for the first Test.
Veteran leg-spinner Yasir Shah will be the leader of the spin attack while Mohammad Abbas will be the spearhead of the pace bowling brigade. He had a superb tour of England earlier in the year where he troubled most of the top order English batters.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Hafeez was not originally named in the 17 member Pakistan squad for the two-match Test series. However, he is set to return to the squad. He might be opening the batting and might well play ahead of Azhar Ali at No 3. Meanwhile leg-spinner Shadab Khan has been ruled out of the two-Test series owing to an injury. Bilal Asif, the tentative debutant is named in his place. The biggest shock was the exclusion of experienced left-arm pacer Mohammad Aamir. He hasn’t bowled well in the last few months and an omission from the squad was always on the cards.
Pakistan XII (final team to be named on Sunday morning Dubai time): Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Bilal Asif, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Mir Hamza/Wahab Riaz.