Wednesday Nov 11, 2020
Out-of-form batsman Asad Shafiq, white-ball pacer Mohammad Amir and 38-year-old Shoaib Malik were the biggest casualties as chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq named a massive 35-man squad featuring plenty of youth for Pakistan seniors and Shaheens' upcoming tour of New Zealand.
Shafiq, once considered the star of Pakistan's Test unit, paid the price for his poor form in the recent tour of England where he failed in all three Tests.
Meanwhile, Amir, whose utility to Pakistan cricket had diminished due to his retirement from Test cricket, did not make the cut as the selectors preferred youth over experience. The same was the reason cited for Malik's non-selection. Neither were picked for the recent Zimbabwe series either.
As the experienced trio was cut, in came uncapped quartet of Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt and Rohail Nazir, while Abdullah Shafique and Usman Qadir, who only recently made their Pakistan debuts, were also retained.
One veteran who did make the squad was former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. He will, however, is guaranteed to play second fiddle as his direct rival Mohammad Rizwan has been confirmed as vice-captain for Test.
It was the last squad that Misbah announced as he is to leave the position at the end of this month.
The almost three dozen members is in addition to the 20-member support staff officials.
The entire 55-man contingent will depart on November 23 and spend a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their arrival in Lincoln, New Zealand.
Pakistan and New Zealand are to play a three-match T20I series starting December 18. The two-Test series will begin on Boxing Day (December 26).
Openers (six): Abid Ali (Central Punjab/Lahore Qalandars), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Lahore Qalandars), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan/Peshawar Zalmi), Shan Masood (Soutern Punjab/Multan Sultans) and Zeeshan Malik (Northern)
Middle-order batsmen (11): Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab/Karachi Kings), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Danish Aziz (Sindh), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Haider Ali (Shaheens vice-captain, Northern/Peshawar Zalmi), Haris Sohail (Balochistan), Hussain Talat (Southern Punjab/Islamabad United), Iftikhar Ahmed (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Karachi Kings), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Khushdil Shah (Southern Punjab/Multan Sultans) and Mohammad Hafeez (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Peshawar Zalmi)
Wicketkeepers (three): Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, Tests) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Karachi Kings), Rohail Nazir (Shaheens captain, Northern/Multan Sultans) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh/Quetta Gladiators)
Spinners (five): Imad Wasim (Northern/Karachi Kings), Shadab Khan (vice-captain, T20Is) (Northern/Islamabad United), Usman Qadir (Central Punjab/Multan Sultans), Yasir Shah (Balochistan/Peshawar Zalmi) and Zafar Gohar (Central Punjab/Islamabad United)
Fast bowlers (10): Amad Butt (Balochistan/Islamabad United), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab/Islamabad United), Haris Rauf (Northern/Lahore Qalandars), Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab/Multan Sultans), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh/Quetta Gladiators), Mohammad Musa (Northern/Islamabad United), Naseem Shah (Central Punjab/Quetta Gladiators), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Lahore Qalandars), Sohail Khan (Sindh/Quetta Gladiators) and Wahab Riaz (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Peshawar Zalmi)