Shan Masood, Mohd. Abbas and Haris Sohail were dropped from Pakistan’s Test squad that was announced by the new Chief Selector i.e. Mohammad Wasim for the upcoming home series against South Africa.
So, What Is Exactly Is The Squad?
The 20 man squad for the concerned series includes the following players.
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc), Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Abdullah Shafique, Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan.
So, Who Is In?
Pacer Hasan Ali has made a comeback following an injury induced and almost a year long ouster from the national side. Yasir Shah’s poor performances on the other hand means that the new selection committee has included spinners Nauman Ali, Mohd. Nawaz and Sajid Khan as a back up and strong candidates particularly for the second Test i.e. if Yasir fails to perform yet again.
Also in for the first time is fast-bowler Tabish Khan. Explaining the decision to select a 36 year old fast bowler Wasim said, “Tabish Khan has been preferred over Sohail Khan as he is more effective and useful in Pakistan conditions. Like Mohammad Abbas, Tabish is a workhorse, who can bowl long spells with controlled line and length. His 598 career first-class wickets, including 30 wickets this season, is a testament that he is a like-to-like replacement for Mohammad Abbas in the given conditions.
Explaining that those who performed consistently at the domestic level have been rewarded Wasim further said, “This is a reward for their consistent performance, hard work and perseverance during a difficult season played under the strict Covid-19 protocols. This is also an endorsement that domestic cricket will be valued and respected, and will remain a stepping stone for international cricket. All those players who aspire to represent Pakistan at the global stage will not only have to feature in it but also perform at the expected levels to earn the selectors’ nod.
“Kamran Ghulam (1,249 runs), Saud Shakeel (970 runs) and Salman Ali Agha (941 runs) walk into the middle-order to support Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam. This is a formidable and highly skilled middle-order, which will encourage a further healthy competition for a permanent place in the side.”
Why Were Shan Masood, Mohd. Abbas & Haris Sohail Dropped?
All three had been in terrible form off-late and so, while explaining the decision Wasim said, “Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas and Shan Masood have been dropped due to inconsistent performances. However, the PCB will not let its investment on these talented players go to waste and will invite them to the High Performance Centre so that they can work out their technical flaws and get back into contention.
“Shan’s bad form has opened doors for Abid Ali’s new partner, be it either Abdullah Shafique or Imran Butt, who was last season’s top scorer. Together with Abdullah, he was in New Zealand with the Shaheens side.”
By the way, also out are Naseem Shah, Imamul Haq and Shadab Khan. None of them was available owing to injury concerns.