Pakistan drop Shafiq, Amir and Malik for New Zealand tour
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan will be Babar Azam’s deputy for the Tests.
Pakistan axed Asad Shafiq from their Test team for the upcoming New Zealand tour on Wednesday, also omitting veterans Mohammad Amir and Shoaib Malik from the Twenty20 squad as part of their go-young policy in the short format.
Middle-order batsman Shafiq managed only 67 runs in five innings in Pakistan’s 1-0 series defeat in England in August.
“Asad Shafiq has been left out due to lack of form,” head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said in a statement after announcing an expanded 35-member squad.
“I am sure he will utilise this time to work harder on his game in the domestic first-class matches so that he, like Sarfaraz Ahmed, can reclaim his form and be back in contention for the upcoming tests against South Africa and Zimbabwe.”
The two-match series, beginning on Dec. 26 at Mount Maunganui, will mark the beginning of Babar Azam’s tenure as Pakistan’s test captain.
Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt and Rohail Nazir have impressed the selectors with their form, technique, temperament and ability and these four players are amongst some other players who have been selected for Shaheens to build our bench strength: @captainmisbahpk pic.twitter.com/gtXUG18bON— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 11, 2020
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan will be Azam’s deputy for the Tests.
The Test matches will be preceded by three Twenty20 Internationals but paceman Amir and veteran all-rounder Malik will not be seen in action.
“Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir are not part of the white-ball matches as for this tour we have opted to invest, develop and focus on the promising and emerging players who are likely to be available to Pakistan for all formats,” Misbah said.
Exceptions were made for all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, 40, and left-arm quick Wahab Riaz, 35, “purely on the basis of their outstanding and consistent performances as well as the value they bring to the T20I squad,” Misbah said.
The touring party, which also includes Pakistan’s A team, will leave for New Zealand on Nov. 23 and spend the mandatory 14-day quarantine period in Lincoln.
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Zeeshan Malik, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Butt, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz.
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