Imam-ul-Haq, former captain and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, is among the five uncapped players named in the 16-man Pakistan squad for the upcoming Test series against England and Ireland.
Besides Imam, opener Fakhar Zaman, batsmen Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali, and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf are the other four uncapped members to have received maiden Test call-ups. While Imam has been given a chance in the longest format of the game after his blistering century on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka late last year, Ashraf has been included in Test squad on the back of some impressive performances in the shorter formats of the game.
Ali, on the other hand, received the call-up on the back of his impressive form in Pakistan's first-class circuit, having amassed 3,473 runs in 50 games he played at an average of 46.93. Pakistan Super League's (PSL) top performer Wahab Riaz has been excluded from the national squad, while the South Asian team will also miss the services of prolific leg-spinner Yasir Shah owing to a hip injury.
Reflecting on the squad, national chief selector Inzamam said that they have tried to give chance to youngsters keeping in mind the next World Cup in England. "We have tried to strengthen our batting and also considered giving a chance to youngsters [on the tour] as the next World Cup is in England," the Dawn quoted Inzamam, as saying.
Meanwhile, Inzamam revealed that Wahab has been excluded from the squad as he has not been performing well recently. Ireland are slated to play their inaugural lone Test against Pakistan from May 11 before the latter side head into England for two-match series, beginning May 24.
The Pakistan Test squad is as follows:Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf.
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