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The Times of India
The Times of India

Imam-ul-Haq named in Pakistan squad for Bangladesh Tests

KARACHI: Pakistan's experienced leg-spinner Yasir Shah was on Monday not picked for the upcoming two-match Test series against Bangladesh after failing to recover from a thumb injury.

The Pakistani selectors announced a 20-member squad for the series with opener Imam-ul-Haq and off-spinner Bilal Asif earning a recall to the national side.

Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim said that Bilal had been picked in place of Yasir who is still recovering from a thumb injury which has also forced him to miss the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class matches.

Yasir who is Pakistan's most experienced Test bowler presently played in the last drawn Test series in the West Indies in July-August.

The selectors have also included off-spinner Sajid Khan and leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood in the squad while young pace bowler Shahnawaz Dahani has been left out without getting a chance to make his debut. He was part of the Test squad that toured the West Indies.

The two Tests will be played in Chittagong (26-30 November) and Dhaka (4-8 December).

Left-handed batter Imam has been recalled following his stellar performances in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in which he has aggregated 488 runs in five innings, including an unbeaten double-century.

Imam had played his 11th and last Test against Australia in Adelaide in November/December 2019.

Bilal who has taken 16 wickets in five Tests last played in 2019.

The selectors have also included uncapped batsman Kamran Ghulam who was not picked for the West Indies tour after being named for a home Test series against South Africa earlier this year.

Kamran is presently in Sri Lanka with the Pakistan Shaheens where he scored 58 not out and 45 in two innings of the rain-affected two-match four-day series.

Wasim said, "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.

"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.

"Bangladesh are a 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."

Pakistan Test squad:

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, Zahid Mahmood.

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