Misbah-ul-Haq, the chief selector and head coach of the national cricket team, announced the 16-member squad for the first test match of the series against Bangladesh, which includes batsman Fawad Alam, in the ICC World Test Championship.
It should be noted that Fawad Alam was also made part of the Test squad a decade ago against Sri Lanka but could not be a part of the Playing XI.
The first match of the two-Test series between Pakistan and Bangladesh will be played in Rawalpindi from February 7 to 11.
In this regard, a 16-member squad for the Rawalpindi Test has been announced, with off-spinner Bilal Asif returning.
Young off-spinner Bilal Asif took 34 wickets in 9 matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
The selection committee also announced the inclusion of all-rounder Fahim Ashraf in the squad, who guided Pavilion to six players against Northern in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari, two cricketers included in the National Test squad against Sri Lanka, were not included in the squad in the first Test match against Bangladesh.
It should be noted that Kashif Bhatti did not play any match in the series against Sri Lanka, while Usman Shinwari took six wickets for 43 runs in Rawalpindi Test.
In a press conference in Lahore on the announcement of the team, Misbah-ul-Haq said that the selection committee selected the most suitable players for the first Test match against Bangladesh.
On the question of asking Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari to be dropped from the squad, he said that of course the players would be disappointed but assured that Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari are all part of our future strategy in long-form cricket.
He said that right-handed off-spinner Bilal Asif has been added to the squad while Fahim Ashraf has been selected as an all-rounder due to a large number of left-handed batsmen in the top and middle order of the Bangladesh cricket team. Usman Shinwari has been given priority based on his ability.
Misbah-ul-Haq said that after the victory in Karachi, he was not in favour of much change in the squad but decided to keep his preparations in view of the wicket.
Misbah-ul-Haq said that Pakistan successfully concluded the 2019 Test series against Sri Lanka, and in the first series of 2020, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh in the T20 series, so are hopeful that the Pakistan Test Cricket Team, The Test series against Bangladesh will also begin with a victory.
"The goal is to get as many points as possible at the ICC World Test Championship," he said, adding that Pakistan's cricket team wants to be among the top two teams in the ICC World Test Championship.
Pakistan Cricket Team will leave for Rawalpindi on February 3, where the national squad will begin training on February 4.
Azhar Ali (Captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Asif, Fahim Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imamul Haq, Imran Khan Senior, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shaan Masood and Yasir Shah.