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Pak vs SA: PCB broadcasts Pakistan Check squad for collection in opposition to South Africa

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LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday introduced a 20-member squad together with 9 uncapped gamers for the two-Check collection in opposition to South Africa that begins January 26 in Karachi.

The gamers will enter the bio-secure bubble on January 19 and the squad can be trimmed to 16 gamers forward of the primary Check.

Openers Abdullah Shafique and Imran Butt, middle-order batsman Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha, and Saudi Shakeel, spinners Nauman Ali Khan and Sajid Khan, and pacers Haris Rauf and Tabish Khan have been rewarded for his or her stellar performances within the 2020-21 home season together with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Hasan Ali has returned to the Check facet after two years following a extremely profitable Quaid-e-Azam Trophy during which he was adjudged participant of the ultimate and event. Hasan, whose ninth and final Check look was in opposition to South Africa in Johannesburg, took 43 wickets and scored 273 runs in a fierce and extremely aggressive Quaid-e-Azam Trophy that included match figures of 5 for 129 and 106 not out within the second innings of the tied remaining.

Additionally returning to the facet is left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who took 22 wickets with two-fers and scored 744 runs within the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He final performed a Check in opposition to the West Indies in Sharjah in 2016.

Nawaz and Faheem Ashraf are the two-all-rounders in a facet that additionally consists of three openers, six middle-order batsmen, two wicketkeepers, three spinners, and 4 quick bowlers.

Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Shan Masood, and Zafar Gohar, who performed within the final Check in Christchurch, have been neglected. Haris, Abbas, and Shan can be invited to the Excessive-Efficiency Centre in Lahore in order that they’ll work on their technical faults with the certified coaches. Zafar who made his Check Debut in Christchurch stays a part of selectors’ long-term plans in each pink and white-ball cricket, and also will work with NHPC coaches on additional enchancment of his all-round skillset.

Quick bowler Naseem Shah was not thought of for choice after complaining of a niggle in his hamstring. He’ll shortly begin his rehabilitation programme on the Nationwide Excessive-Efficiency Centre.

Chief selector’s feedback

Muhammad Wasim mentioned the 9 gamers have an impressive alternative to step-up present their class and potential and carry out strongly in order that they’ll cement their locations for future worldwide assignments.

“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 steppingstone for international cricket. All those players who aspire to represent Pakistan on the global stage will not only have to feature in it but also perform at the expected levels to earn the selectors’ nod,” he added.

He inspired gamers who didn’t make the squad to retain focus because the PCB appears for a packed 2021. “I will like to see these players continue to focus on their fitness and form even after the curtain falls on the 2020-21 season so that whenever they get a call-up, they are ready to cash in on the opportunity.”

Wasim mentioned Haris, Abbas and Shan have been dropped on account of inconsistent performances, including that the PCB “will not let its investment in these talented players go to waste” and has invited them to coach at Excessive Efficiency Centre in Lahore.

“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.”

He mentioned Kamran Ghulam (1,249 runs), Saud Shakeel (970 runs), and Salman Ali Agha (941 runs) stroll into the middle-order to help Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, and Fawad Alam. “This is a formidable and highly skilled middle-order, which will encourage further healthy competition for a permanent place in the side.”

“The horses for courses policy means performers like left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, off-spinner Sajid Shah, and fast bowlers Haris Rauf and Tabish Khan will be available for selection, depending on the team composition for the first Test against South Africa in Pakistan in 14 years.

“Wrist spinner Zahid Mahmood had a strong case after an excellent season, but we decided against going into the series with all four inexperienced spinners,” mentioned the chief selector. “Yasir Shah understands the pressures of international cricket and is familiar with the demands, challenges, and expectations of the purest format of the game.”

“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.”

“Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz are two all-rounders of contrasting skills and should provide more selection options to the team management.”

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