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Pakistan recalls batsman Fawad Alam after 10 years


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|| Desk Report ||

Middle-order Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam has made a come back to the Pakistan test team after a 10-year absence.

The left-hand middle-order batsman is part of the 16-member squad that will face Sri Lanka in two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi later this month.

Fawad replaces Iftikhar Ahmed, who only managed 44 runs in four innings on the recently concluded tour of Australia. The only other change in the squad sees the left-arm quick Usman Shinwari, who has played 17 ODIs and 16 T20Is but is yet to make his Test debut, replace the 19-year-old Muhammad Musa, who went wicketless during his Test debut in Adelaide.

Naseem Shah, who played in Brisbane before giving way to Musa, keeps his place in the Test squad. The 16-year-old fast bowler has been named in Pakistan's squad for the Under-19 World Cup, which begins on January 17 in South Africa. He will miss the initial part of the Under-19 squad's preparatory camp in Lahore, and join his team-mates at the end of the Test series.

Kashif Bhatti, the uncapped 33-year-old left-arm spinner who was part of the squad in Australia but didn't get a game, also keeps his place in the squad.

Fawad, 34, began his Test career in November 2009 in Colombo, scoring a second-innings century on debut. He has only played two more Tests since then, however, despite being one of the most prolific batsmen, season after season, in domestic cricket. He has also played 38 ODIs and 24 T20Is. His last international appearance was an ODI against Bangladesh in April 2015.

But despite being out of the national squad for so long, his runs in domestic cricket have kept his cause alive. And in the lead-up to this selection, he made himself almost impossible to ignore: in his last six games for Sindh in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he's made scores of 92, 1, 29*, 107, 0, 65, 211 and 116.

Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (capt), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari