Uncapped Musa Khan, Naseem Shah named in Pakistan squad for Australia Tests
Uncapped teenagers Musa Khan and Naseem Shah have been included in the 16-member Pakistan squad for the two-match Test series against Australia, beginning November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Besides the trio, opener Abid Ali and left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti are the other two uncapped players to have got a call up in the national squad, which will be led by newly-appointed Test captain Azhar Ali.
Batsman Iftikhar Ahmed, who has played just one match for Pakistan in the longest format of the game in 2016, has been recalled in the Test squad for Australia matches. Besides Ahmed, pace sensation Shaheen Afridi and right-arm pacer Imran Khan have also made a comeback.
Reflecting on the squad, head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said that they had selected the players keeping in mind their aim of moving up the ladder in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings and World Test Championship standings.
"Our aim is to move up the Test rankings and begin the Test Championship strong. There is a need to play a different brand of cricket, the balance of the squads is reflective of us having options to play aggressive, attacking cricket," the ICC quoted Misbah as saying.
Talking about the inclusion of Musa and Naseem, Misbah said that the Australian wickets will provide the duo with opportunity to express themselves and gain valuable experience.
"Yes, it's a brave and bold decision to select the likes of Musa and Naseem, but we know that their fresh and attacking approach will give us something different. The Australian wickets will give them the opportunity to express themselves, gain valuable experience, and it will help us to take 20 wickets to win the Tests," he said.
Except Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan have retained most of the players who had appeared in the side's last Test series against South Africa in January this year.
The full Test squad is as follows:
Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed , Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah