Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Pakistan include five uncapped players in Test squad

Pakistan include five uncapped players in Test squad

Batting trio Fakhar Zaman, Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali could all be handed debuts on the trip, while there is also a place for left-hander Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of former captainInzamam-ul-Haq who is now chief selector for the national team. His medium pace will be a useful addition in seamer-friendly conditions.

Pakistan selectors overlooked 32-year-old batsman Fawad Alam despite strong domestic form as they picked five uncapped players in the 16-man squad for their Tests against Ireland and England starting next month.

Despite it being one of his worse seasons in the domestic circuit, Fawad was the sixth highest run-scorer of the tournament with 570 runs at an average just above 40. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will fill in for slow-bowling spearhead Yasir Shah who is out with a hip injury.

Alam, among the 25 players called up for the training camp recently held in Lahore, scored an impressive 19 in the Yo-Yo Endurance Test, ahead of skipper Sarfraz and much younger players Hassan Ali, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman.

"Yasir's absence is a big loss for us", said Inzamam. "He played a big part in all the games we won".

Wahab Riaz is unsurprisingly omitted; the left-arm paceman was criticised by coach Mickey Arthur for his work ethic and had already fallen out of favour in white-ball cricket. "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".

Pakistan's Test match against Ireland, which will get underway on May 11 in Dublin, will be a historic fixture as it will be the latter's first-ever Test match. Pakistan will then play two Tests against England - at Lord's (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5).

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