Pakistan includes uncapped Shaheen Afridi in test squad
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Uncapped fast bowler Shaheen Afridi was picked in the 15-man Pakistan squad for the three-test series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
Afridi, an 18-year-old left-armer, was rewarded for taking eight wickets in the two one-day internationals against the Kiwis, so far.
Another uncapped player, batsman Saad Ali, was included after he scored 144 runs for Pakistan A against New Zealand A in the United Arab Emirates.
The selectors rested two key players, opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and legspinner Shadab Khan. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said in a statement they were to undergo training at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.
Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq, who was struck on the helmet and retired hurt during the second ODI against New Zealand on Friday, will likely open the innings with Azhar Ali, with Mohammad Hafeez another option.
Fast bowler Mohammad Amir was once against ignored after the left-arm paceman failed to again win back the confidence of the selectors since the Asia Cup. He has missed the home series against Australia and New Zealand.
Mohammad Abbas will lead Pakistan’s pace attack along with Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, and allrounder Faheem Ashraf.
The test series begins at Abu Dhabi from Nov. 16, which also hosts the third test from Dec. 3. The second test will be at Dubai from Nov. 24.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mir Hamza.