Asif, Ashraf back in Pakistan Test squad
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.