Amir returns to Pakistan squad
FAST BOWLER BACK IN SELECTORS’ GOOD BOOKS
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