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Hafeez, Talha in 15-member Test squad

27 December, 2013

LAHORE: The national selectors have shown confidence in fast bowler M Talha by including him in the 15-member Test squad announced here on Thursday to play Sri Lanka in a three Test series commencing from December 31 at Abu Dhabi.

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Talha had got a re-call after four years as he made his debut in 2009 against Sri Lanka at Lahore and this time, the selectors are hoping that the pace bowler will be seen in a more effective manner to add fire to Pakistan pace battery which is also boosted with the inclusion of veteran pacer Umar Gul who has regained his place in the test squad.

All-rounder M Hafeez, who scored three centuries in first four one-day internationals, in the ongoing one day series against Lanka has got back his place in the test squad. "Talha is in new trim which is evident from his recent form in the domestic season in which took 11 wickets for Port Qasim Authority in the President's Trophy," said a selector here on Thursday.

The second Test will be played from January 8 at Dubai and the third Test from January 16 at Sharjah.

The selectors dropped batsman Umar Amin and spinner Zulfiqar Babar from the squad that played the Test series against South Africa in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Gul's last Test for Pakistan was against South Africa in February last year in South Africa and after which he was excluded owing to injury. He was recently re-called ahead of the third ODI against Lanka in UAE.

Meanwhile, the PCB took another initiative for the early recovery of pacer M Irfan from his hip injury by sending him to Dubai. "Irfan is being sent to Dubai to recover from the fracture of hip bone under the supervision of Dale Naylor, recently appointed physio/trainer by the PCB and Dr Faisal (former team doctor) who is also in Dubai," said PCB spokesman here on Thursday.

It is part of the PCB's plan to bolster the team ranks to have proper back up for all the players of the national team. Irfan will leave for Dubai on December 28 and will be with Dr Faisal and Naylor till his full recovery.

TEST SQUAD: Misbahul Haq, M Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Younus Khan, Adnan Akmal, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Rahat Ali and M Talha.

Courtesy: The Nation