Amir re­turns to Pak­istan squad

FAST BOWLER BACK IN SE­LEC­TORS’ GOOD BOOKS

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - La­hore

Pak­istan’s se­lec­tors yes­ter­day re­called fast bowler Mo­ham­mad Amir in their 16-man squad for the three­match Test tour of South Africa start­ing later this month.

Sar­fraz Ahmed will lead the side, which opens the tour with the first Test at Cen­tu­rion from De­cem­ber 26.

Pak­istan will also play five one-day in­ter­na­tion­als and three Twenty20 in­ter­na­tion­als on the tour, for which squads will be an­nounced later.

The sec­ond Test will be played at Cape Town from Jan­uary 3-7, while the third and fi­nal match is in Jo­han­nes­burg from Jan­uary 11-15.

Amir was dropped af­ter fail­ing to get a sin­gle wicket in three Asia Cup matches in the United Arab Emi­rates in Septem­ber.

He missed Pak­istan’s twom­atch Test se­ries against Aus­tralia and then three Tests against New Zealand – both in the UAE – but chief selec­tor In­za­mam-ul-Haq be­lieves the left-armer has re­gained his form in do­mes­tic matches.

“Amir makes a come­back in the team af­ter re­gain­ing his form in do­mes­tic cricket, giv­ing strength to a fast-bowl­ing at­tack that in­cludes four pace bowlers,” said In­za­mam while an­nounc­ing the squad.

Also stag­ing come­backs are leg-spin­ner Shadab Khan, and open­ers Fakhar Za­man and Shan Ma­sood.

Za­man made his Test de­but against Aus­tralia be­fore he was ruled out of the New Zealand se­ries with a knee in­jury, while Shadab missed both se­ries due to a ham­string prob­lem.

Ma­sood, who played the most re­cent of his 12 Tests in Oc­to­ber last year, was also brought back af­ter re­cent good form, scor­ing twin hun­dreds in a four-day match against New Zealand A two months ago.

Mo­ham­mad Rizwan, the backup wick­et­keeper to Sar­fraz, has also re­turned to the squad af­ter his con­sis­tent per­for­mance in their do­mes­tic cricket scene and for Pak­istan A.

But there were no places for off-spin­ner Bi­lal Asif, who took five wick­ets in the on­go­ing Abu Dhabi Test against New Zealand, and La­hore opener Abid Ali, who has also been scor­ing heav­ily at do­mes­tic level and for Pak­istan A.

In­za­mam’s nephew Imam-ulHaq is given an­other chance de­spite scor­ing a mere 73 runs in the three Tests against New Zealand. – AFP

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

MO­HAM­MAD AMIR

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