Pak­istan in­cludes in-form Azam for day-night Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Pak­istan yes­ter­day in­cluded in­form Babar Azam for the first Test against the West Indies, Asia’s first day-night match to be played with a pink ball.

The 21-year-old bats­man notched up 360 runs dur­ing the West Indies one-day se­ries that ended Wed­nes­day. Azam, who has played 18 one-day in­ter­na­tion­als and four Twen­ty20s, has yet to play a Test.

Se­nior bats­man You­nis Khan will, how­ever, miss the first of the three Tests as he con­tin­ues re­cov­er­ing from dengue fever. The squad for the other two Tests will be an­nounced later.

Chief se­lec­tor In­za­mam-ul-Haq said Azam was be­ing re­warded for his pro­lific form.

“We felt Azam did very well on the big stage and is in good form so we have in­cluded him in the team so he could be groomed,” In­za­mam said.

The se­lec­tors have dropped mis­fir­ing open­ers Mo­ham­mad Hafeez and Shan Ma­sood from the 15-man squad which lev­elled the four-match Test se­ries against Eng­land 2-2.

In­za­mam ex­plained the ax­ing of other reg­u­lar open­ers. “We con­sulted the cap­tain (Mis­bah-ul-Haq) and coach (Mickey Arthur) and they wanted the same com­bi­na­tion which played in the Oval Test where Azhar Ali and Sami As­lam had opened,” said In­za­mam of Pak­istan’s last Test in Au­gust.

He hoped You­nis would re­cover in time for the sec­ond Test.

The sec­ond Test starts in Abu Dhabi from Oc­to­ber 21 while the fi­nal Test is in Sharjah from Oc­to­ber 30.

The open­ing match, in Dubai from Oc­to­ber 13, will only be the sec­ond Test played un­der lights and with a pink ball, in­stead of the usual red. Aus­tralia played the first-ever day-night Test in Ade­laide in Novem­ber last year in an at­tempt to beef up dwin­dling crowds for the five-day matches.

Left-arm spin­ning all-rounder Mo­ham­mad Nawaz, who has yet to play a Test, is also part of the Pak­istan squad. Squad: Mis­bah-ul-Haq (cap­tain), Azhar Ali, Sami As­lam, Asad Shafiq, Babar Za­man, Mo­ham­mad Nawaz, Sar­fraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Mo­ham­mad Amir, Im­ran Khan, Wa­hab Riaz, So­hail Khan, Zul­fiqar Babar, Ra­hat Ali. — AFP

SHARJAH: Pak­istan’s bats­man Ad­nan Ak­mal lifts up his bat after scor­ing half cen­tury dur­ing the sec­ond day of the tour match be­tween Pak­istan Cricket Board Pa­tron’s XI and West Indies at the Sharjah Cricket Sta­dium, in the Gulf Emi­rate of Sharjah, yes­ter­day. —AFP

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