Test cricket is all set to return to Pakistan for the first time since 2009, when Sri Lanka will take on the Men in Green in a two-match Test series starting December 11. The visitors have named a full-strength squad and Pakistan too have announced the group of men that will take them on from next week. Fawad Alam, who last played a Test ten years ago, has been plundering runs for fun in domestic cricket and gets a look in.
The left-hander last played a Test match for his nation back in 2009 when he played against New Zealand. He replaced Iftikhar Ahmed in the side, who had a dismal time in the recent series against Australia, managing just 44 runs in four innings. The only other change in the Pakistani squad from the one that toured Australia last month is the inclusion of 19-year old Mohammad Musa over Usman Shinwari.
All eyes will be on Kashif Bhatti, the left-arm spinner, who was picked for the series Down Under but did not get a single game. With the tracks in Pakistan likely to aid the slower bowlers for the upcoming series, he is likely to make his Test debut sooner than later. Pakistan will also be eyeing a change in fortunes after the 0-2 drubbing that they received at the hands of the Tim Paine-led side.
They lost both their games by an innings’ margin and will be hoping to make amends against the Lankans, who have shown a lot of promise in the format. They drew a hard-fought series at home earlier this year against the New Zealand side.
The first Test match will be held in Rawalpindi from December 11, while Karachi will host the second game.
Pakistan Test squad: Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali (C), Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.