The Pakistan selection committee led by former Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has announced the 16-member squad for the upcoming 1 Test match against Ireland and the 2-match Test series against England.
Pakistan squad for the Test tour of Ireland and England:— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) April 15, 2018
Sarfraz Ahmed (C)
The squad has thrown up some surprises as preference has been given to young talent over experience. This is the reason why the squad features 5 uncapped players. Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, is a left-handed opening batsman and finds himself in the squad. Imam has played 4 ODIs for Pakistan and had smashed a century on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka last October.
The other players in line to make their Test debut on the tour are Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Usman Salahuddin.
Glimpses from the day five of Pakistan team training camp for Ireland and England tour at GSL pic.twitter.com/SuYMNxIeI3— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) April 15, 2018
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq believes that the tour offers the right opportunity for young batsmen to have a feel of the English conditions ahead of the 2019 World Cup. "We've kept two things in focus when deciding on the final touring squad for England. One, we've tried to strengthen our batting line-up. Secondly, we've borne in mind that the World Cup next year is in England. So we've decided to call up several young players to give them exposure to those conditions. This is a great opportunity for us, particularly our batsmen to gain experience in these conditions," noted Inzamam.
The big name to miss out from the squad due injury is leg spinner Yasir Shah. Inzamam acknowledged the impact that Shah could have made on the tour and mentioned, "Yasir's absence is a big loss for us. If we look at his numbers for the last two years, he has more wickets than any other bowler for Pakistan. He was our strike bowler, all the games we've won he played a big part in. I hope he recovers quickly from his injury because we have some big home Test series coming up after this series too, and we will need him in the UAE."
The other hotshot who failed to find a place in the squad is pacer Wahab Riaz who has borne the brunt of Coach Mickey Arthur. Arthur feels that the left armer has to put his work ethics in place before he gets another look in the squad.
"I cannot fault Wahab when he has a ball in his hand but his work ethic around training is something needs to be looked at. He has not won us a game in two years. I expect players that have been around for a long time to be winning us games and setting standards. Otherwise we will invest in younger players who have long futures,” said the Coach.
Pakistan are all set to tour Ireland for a one-off Test match which begins on 11th May. That will be followed by a 2-match Test series against England, the first of which will be played at Lords from the 24th of May.
© Cricket World 2018