LONDON: Batsmen Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali received maiden call-ups in a 16-man Test squad for Pakistan’s tour to Ireland and England named by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq on Sunday, with no place – as expected – for fast bowler Wahab Riaz.
It is a squad that contains a notably large batting contingent, with youth more prevalent than experience at first glance – all told, as many as five players could be in line for their Test debuts over the three games, with two others having played a combined three Test matches. The absence of Yasir Shah meant Pakistan brought in Shadab Khan, who, within a year, has become the leading spinner of the side’s limited-overs attack, but has played a solitary Test so far.
“Yasir Shah’s absence is a big loss for us,” Inzamam said. “If we look at his numbers for the last two years, he has more wickets than any other bowler for Pakistan. He was our strike bowler, all the games we’ve won he played a big part in. I hope he recovers quickly from his injury because we have some big home Test series coming up after this series too, and we will need him in the UAE.”