Teenaged leg-spinner heads newcomers in Test squad
LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC):
Impressed with his befuddlement of West Indies batsmen in four Twenty20 Internationals over the last two weeks, the Pakistan selection panel have named teenager Shadab Khan in a 16-member squad for their upcoming Test series in the Caribbean.
The 18-year-old leg-spinner gained the nod of approval to be one of five newcomers in the Pakistani Test squad, a mere 10 days after making his international debut in the T20 series against the Windies in which he was named Player of the Series for a haul of 10 wickets at 7.50 apiece.
The other uncapped players in the squad which will be captained by veteran Misbah-ul-Haq before he signs out of the international game are: middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin, fast bowlers Hassan Ali and Muhammad Abbas, along with left-arm spinner Muhammad Asghar.
Seven of the players that made the trip to Australia over the Christmas/New Year's period have been sidelined for one reason or the other, earning familiar face Ahmed Shehzad a recall, along with fellow batsman Shan Masood.
"The Test team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions in West Indies and the recent performances of players during the domestic and international season," said chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. "The team is a fine blend of experience and youth, and we believe that the team will do well on the tour."
West Indies and Pakistan play three Tests during the upcoming series, including the opening match, the 50th to be staged at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, along with contests at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, and Windsor Park in Roseau, Dominica.
The Pakistanis are eyeing their first Test series victory on Caribbean soil, having failed to succeed on seven previous trips to the region and won just five of 23 matches there.
Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Sarfraz Ahmed (vice-captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas.