- Debutant Salman Ali Agha replaces him in the playing XI
Senior middle-order batter Fawad Alam failed to make the cut as captain Babar Azam announced on Friday Pakistan's line-up for the first Test against Sri Lanka.
All-rounder Salman Ali Agha will make his Pakistan debut in the first of the two-match Test series that begins on Saturday at Galle International Cricket Stadium, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.
Salman was added to the 18-player squad for this series following an impressive run in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class tournament in the last three years. In 18 matches, since 2019-20 season, the right-hander has scored 1,629 runs at a strong average of 56.19. The 28-year-old has smashed five centuries and eight half-centuries. His off-spin snared 25 wickets.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz will also return to the side in the first Test. Yasir - who was instrumental in Pakistan’s 2-1 Test series win in 2015, snaring 24 wickets – will play his first Test since August 2021 after recovering from a thumb injury.
Mohammad Nawaz will return after almost six years as the 28-year-old last played a Test in November 2016.
Pakistan’s XI for first Test:
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc, wk), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi and Yasir Shah