Fawad Alam’s fading Test career was revived on Wednesday after Pakistan recalled the left-handed batsman for the three-match series against England starting October in the United Arab Emirates.
Fawad, 29, whose Test career was abruptly halted after playing just three Tests, was the only surprise selection in the 15-member squad as the national selectors also recalled left-arm pacer Junaid Khan. Junaid had last played in Bangladesh earlier this year.
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Fawad, who toured New Zealand in November 2009, has been rewarded for a string of consistent scoring in domestic first class and one-day matches and he was also in prime form in the just concluded national T20 championship in Rawalpindi.
Although Fawad had represented Pakistan in the ODIs against Bangladesh in Arpil, the recall to the Test side is a dream-come-true for the Karachi-born player.
“I just want to now perform and vindicate my selection if I get a chance in the Test matches,” said the middle-order batsman, who scored a century on debut against Sri Lanka.”
The rest of the Test squad contained no surprises with veteran Misbah-ul-Haq retained as captain while the Pakistani selectors have decided to include three specialist spinners for the three Test series starting October 13 in Abu Dhabi.
While leg-spinner Yasir Shah and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar have been named straightaway in the 15-member squad, chief selector Haroon Rasheed said the two young left-arm spinners Muhammad Asghar and Zafar Gohar would compete for the 16th place in the squad.
“They will play in the side matches against England in Sharjah and whoever performs and impresses will join the Test squad as the 16th player,” he said.
Asghar and Gohar are yet to represent Pakistan at the senior level although the latter has played for the Pakistan under-19 squad in the World Cup.
England have also included three spinners in their Test line-up despite packing their outfit with their experienced pace battery.
But compared to the Pakistan squad, which has specialist slow bowlers, England have been forced to opt for allrounders Moeen Ali and Zafar Ansari and leg-spinner Adil Rashid — all three of Pakistani origin.
The last time England played Pakistan in a Test series in the UAE they were drubbed three nil despite being the world’s number one Test side at that time.
Pakistan: Muhammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Shaan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Younis Khan, Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Rahat Ali and Zafar Gohar/Muhammad Asghar.