Asif, Ashraf back in Pak­istan Test squad

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

La­hore, Pak­istan - Pak­istan have re­called off-spin­ner Bi­lal Asif into their Test squad, in a bid to counter what is ex­pected to be a left-han­der heavy Bangladesh line-up, for the first game in Rawalpindi.

Seam-bowl­ing all­rounder Fa­heem Ashraf also re­turned to the squad af­ter hav­ing been ig­nored for the team's most re­cent Test se­ries at home against Sri Lanka.

Both Asif and Ashraf weren't part of the Test squad that toured Australia in 2019, but have now made come­backs in place of left-arm fin­ger-spin­ner Kashif Bhatti and left-arm quick Us­man Shin­wari.

An off-spin­ner, who can turn the ball sharply and gen­er­ate ex­tra bounce, Asif has played five Tests so far, col­lect­ing 16 wick­ets, in­clud­ing a six-wicket haul on de­but against Australia in Dubai in 2018. Ashraf last played a Test in Jan­uary 2019 in Jo­han­nes­burg.

The first Test will take place in Rawalpindi from Fe­bru­ary 7-11, and Bangladesh will then re­turn to the coun­try in April to play a soli­tary ODI and the sec­ond Test, both in Karachi. The Pak­istan Su­per League will be played be­tween the sec­ond and third legs of Bangladesh's tour. The first leg in­cluded a three-match T20I se­ries, in Jan­uary, which Pak­istan won 2-0, af­ter the third match was washed out. Pak­istan squad: Azhar Ali (capt), Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Ma­sood, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris So­hail, Fawad Alam, Mo­ham­mad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Im­ran Khan, Mo­ham­mad Ab­bas, Sha­heen Afridi, Bi­lal Asif, Naseem Shah, Fa­heem Ashraf.

Bi­lal Asif

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