Pakistan have announced a 16-man Test squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 7, 2019
Fawad Alam, who last played a Test in 2009, has returned to the side in place of Iftikhar Ahmed. Young pacer Mohammad Musa has been replaced by Usman Shinwari, who is yet to make his Test debut but has played 17 ODIs and 16 T20Is.
Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari
Fawad Alam’s scores since November, in first class cricket, have been 29*, 107, 65, 211 and 116.
Alam last played a Test in New Zealand in 2009, eight months after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus shut the doors of international cricket on Pakistan. Alam scored a century in his debut Test against Sri Lanka in July 2009 and has scored over 12,222 runs in a 16-year first class career at a healthy average of 56.84.
Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector Misbah ul Haq said, “Fawad’s selection is not based on just one year. It is an accumulation of his performances over five to six years. He has a career average of 57 and is in great form right now as well.”
“The other change is Usman Shinwari. We have struggled a little bit with bowling and Usman’s bowling and energy, even on flat pitches here, has been good.”
Only fitting that Fawad Alam returns to Test cricket with the return of Test cricket to Pakistan
— Osman Samiuddin (@OsmanSamiuddin) December 7, 2019
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will face off in two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi. This will be the first time Pakistan will be hosting a Test series in more than 10 years.
Musa, who has not been included in the squad, will continue to be with the team’s training sessions, added Misbah ul Haq.