Fawad Alam scored a century on debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2009 but played only two Tests afterwards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Test cricket is returning to Pakistan after 10 years with the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka which is part of the ICC World Test Championships. However, along with Test cricket, the Pakistan squad which was selected to face Sri Lanka is also seeing the return of a player after 10 years. This batsman scored a century in his debut Test against Sri Lanka in July 2009 and has scored over 12,222 runs in a 16-year first class career at a healthy average of 56.84. Eight months later, the March terror attacks stopped teams from coming to Pakistan and he too drifted out of the fray. The Pakistan side for the series against Sri Lanka sees the return of Fawad Alam.
Alam is one of the two changes Pakistan selectors have made from the 16-man squad that lost the two-test matches against Australia. Alam has replaced Iftikhar Ahmed while leftarm fast bowler Usman Shinwari comes in in place of young fast bowler Mohammad Musa. Misbah said Musa will remain with the test squad and will continue working with bowling coach Waqar Younis.
Chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said the lefthanded batsman was selected because of his recent prolific scoring in domestic cricket. "Our thinking is that we need consistency in the team and that's the reason we didn't make a lot of changes for the series against Sri Lanka. There should be continuity so that players get confidence. We made changes where we feel it's necessary," Misbah said.
Misbah was given three responsibilities chief selector, head coach and batting coach when the Pakistan Cricket Board removed head coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Grant Flower after the World Cup while chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq stepped down. However, the former Pakistan captain clarified his role.
"The perspective is that it's a one-man show,. I think there should be a clarity on this, there are six selectors who closely watch players in domestic cricket and also do work with the players on their technique. They know all the minus and plus of these players very well and my prime job is the head coach," Misbah said.
Pakistan squad for Sri Lanka series: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.