No Test series for Hafeez this time
07 October, 2013
KARACHI: Speculations about Mohammad Hafeez's inclusion in the Test squad against South Africa were laid to rest yesterday when the national selection committee finally axed the opener and named 12 players for the series that will be played in the UAE.
According to the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) press release, the remaining three names will be announced after the A team's game against South Africa.
Although Hafeez remained adamant that his performance in the One-Day Internationals and Twenty20s was being overlooked in the face of his Test performances, it had little effect on the selectors who finally made their call.
Another prominent name which was missing from the list was that of dependable batsman Asad Shafiq, who has been touted as the most promising batsman in the Pakistan team by former cricketers.
Shafiq had done well in the away series against the Proteas where he scored a century in tricky conditions for batsmen alongside Younus Khan.
"Shafiq will most probably be selected in the final squad after the three-day A game," a PCB official told Our Sources. "We have enormous faith in his capabilities.
"He was taken into confidence about the decision so that he doesn't get the wrong impression and lose heart. Ahmad Shehzad is also a strong contender to break into the Test side if he does well in the three-day match."
Umar Akmal and Nasir Jamshed will have to wait a little longer to make Test comebacks as the selectors did not name them in the initial squad and they are also not a part of the A Team.
Irfan recalled for Test series, Babar included
Left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan was brought back into the team after being rested for two Test series against Zimbabwe as Pakistan look to dominate South Africa's top batting line-up that boasts the likes of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis.
Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar finally got a chance to be part of a Test squad as selectors showed faith in the 34-year-old spinner who has done well in his short international career so far, besides displaying an outstanding performance in first-class cricket as well.
The PCB's official press release read, "The selection committee has announced the names of 12 players for the Test Squad for Pakistan against South Africa series. Three names will be added after the three-day match in Sharjah."
PCB names 12 players
Misbahul Haq (c), Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Umar Amin, Adnan Akmal (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Abdur Rehman, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali.