Pakistan have included exciting young batter Abdullah Shafique in the 12-man squad for the first of the two Tests against Bangladesh that starts tomorrow (Friday) in Chittagong.
Babar Azam will lead the side with wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan as his deputy. The top order consists of Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam. The middle-order includes the experienced duo of Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam along with in-form Mohammad Rizwan.
The 12-man squad also includes two spinners, experienced left-arm spinner, Nauman Ali, and off-spinner, Sajid Khan, who was named in the 18-man squad in place of injured Yasir Shah. He is most likely to make it to the final XI along with Nauman on spin-friendly pitch conditions in Chittagong.
Meanwhile, the fast-bowling department has the services of Shaheen Afridi, experienced right-arm pacer, Hasan Ali, and all-rounder, Faheem Ashraf.
With the rest of the slots already filled, the team management will have to choose between Abdullah and Imam when it announces the final XI for the match.
The first Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh will commence on Friday, November 26 at Chittagong. The two-match Test series is part of the World Test Championship and both teams will be determined to put points on the board.
In a pre-match press conference earlier today, skipper Babar Azam said: “Our team is impressive and this time around, will make a good impression in the Test Championship.”
He acknowledged that the team did not have enough time to adjust to Test cricket after playing T20 cricket for months.
He also warned his side against showing complacency when facing Bangladesh since they are recognized as a formidable opponent in home conditions.
“Conditions here are different [than Pakistan is used to] hence we cannot take Bangladesh lightly,” he said.
“These conditions are a bit difficult and batters have to stick around on the crease to get settled.”