With just 10 days remaining for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh, Pakistan have announced a 20-member squad. Babar Azam will captain the side which will see the likes of Haris Rauf and Shahnawaz Dahani missing the series. While the two pacers are a part of the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh, they will be returning back home post that to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and prepare for Australia Tests which will be hosted by the Men in Green.
Talking about the squad for Tests against Bangladesh, opener Imam-ul-Haq, middle-order batter Kamran Ghulam and off-spinner Bilal Asif have made the cut into the 20-member squad. While Imam makes the entry riding on sensational performances in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (scoring 488 runs across five innings), Bilal replaces Yasir Shah as the latter is still recovering from his thumb injury. Nothing to take away from Bilal's performance as he has picked up 15 wickets across 5 Test matches played so far.
Here is Pakistan's squad for Bangladesh Tests:
Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Zahid Mahmood.
Bangladesh are strong side in their backyard but we have resources: Pak's chief selector Muhammad Wasim
Chief selector of Pakistan national cricket team Muhammad Wasim said that the squad for the Bangladesh Tests has been picked keeping in mind the potential make-up of the side. He added that Bangladesh are a strong side in their own backyard but Pakistan are no less.
“We have selected the squad following discussions with the team management and after taking into consideration the opposition’s potential make-up and the conditions in which the Tests will be played," said Muhammad Wasim as quoted by PCB's official website.
“As we already have four frontline fast bowlers, we have allowed Haris Rauf and Shahnawaz Dahani to return to Pakistan after the T20Is so that they can play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and prepare for Australia Tests. An in-form left-handed Imam-ul-Haq has replaced Imran Butt, who managed to score at 17.8 in 10 Test innings, but he has a chance to continue to play and perform in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy so that he can force his way back in the side," he explained.
“Bangladesh are strong side in their backyard but we have the resources, talent and experience to perform strongly and then carry that momentum into the Australia Tests, which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship,” Wasim added.