Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq on Saturday named the 16-man squad for the Test series against Bangladesh which is to take place in Pakistan later this month.
Two changes have been made to the side that featured in the Test series against Sri Lanka. Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari have been replaced by Bilal Asif and Faheem Ashraf.
“The reason to induct Bilal Asif is due to the number of left-handers [in the Bangladesh squad],” said Misbah, adding that the offspinner was picked over left-arm spin option Kashif Bhatti.
Fawad Alam, who was a part of the home series against Sri Lanka but did not get a game, has also been retained.
When asked if Alam or some others who make the squad but did not get game time will be tried against Bangladesh, Misbah said that that depends on the situation, stressing that he cannot try the entire squad in a series as he can only pick 11 players per match.
Bangladesh were not able to give Pakistan a scare in their 2-0 loss in the recent T20I series. When asked if he expects the Tigers to far better in the longest format, Misbah refused to be dismissive of the opponents, saying that there are no guarantees that a team that failed in one format would struggle in another format as well.
“They will have no pressure as they have nothing to lose, while the series is obviously of more importance to us so we cannot afford to relax,” he added.
Misbah, responding to a question, admitted that lengthy breaks and the scattered nature of the cricket calendar where Test series are followed by limited overs cricket keeps his team from building any kind of rhythm.
Azhar Ali (captain)
Imran Khan Snr
Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)
Shaheen Shah Afridi