LAHORE: Pakistan cricket Chief Selector and Head Coach Misba-ul-Haq reintroduces left-handed batsman Fawad Alam to the national Test side after 10 years of his staying out.
While announcing the Pakistan Test squad for Sri Lanka series, Misbah-ul-Haq apprised the media that the batsman was brought back to the Test team owing to his consistent performance in the domestic cricket.
“Fawad Alam has been performing for the last many years in the domestic level and he is in fabulous form currently,” he said.
Pakistan team is as follows: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah and Usman Khan Shinwari.
Results against Sri Lanka in this series would be very crucial for Pakistan, the chief selector said. He also said that he never made selections all alone.
Former Test spinner and selection committee coordinator Nadeem Khan on this occasion repudiated the views of a particular media section that Misbah was enjoying a monopoly over selection and giving favour to the players closer to him.
“The team is selected through proper coordination among all the stakeholders,” he said.
Misbah said the biggest problem Pakistan was facing in Test was lack of bowling experience after Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz retired from the longest format.
To a query, he said not only players but the team management was also responsible for defective performance.
To another query, the chief selector said that Fawad’s inclusion was delayed for they had similar players in the form of Haris and Iftekhar. “Iftekhar had an added advantage of being an off-spinner. He has also given tremendous performance in the domestic matches. There’s very narrow line when you have to make such decisions.”
Thirty-four-year-old Fawad Alam played his third and last Test in Dunedin in November 2009, while Shinwari is yet to make his Test debut despite having played in 17 ODIs and 16 T20Is since making his international debut in 2013.
Fawad has been one of the most prolific and consistent batsmen in Pakistan’s domestic circuit, having scored 672 runs (average 56) in the 2015-16 season, 499 runs in the 2016-17 season (average 55.44), 570 runs (average 40.7) in the 2017-18 season, 699 runs (average 69.9) in the 2018-19 and 781 runs (average 71) in the ongoing 2019-20 season.
Usman Shinwari took 15 wickets in six Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-20 first-class matches at an average of just over 25.
The first Test will be played in Rawalpindi from 11-15 December, while the second Test will be held in Karachi from 19-23 December.