Pakistan make two changes for first Test against Bangladesh

The match will take place from February 7-11 in Rawalpindi

Pakistan make two changes for first Test against Bangladesh PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan have made two changes to their squad for the first Test against Bangladesh, which is scheduled to take place from February 7-11 in Rawalpindi.

All-rounder Faheem Ashraf and off-spinner Bilal Asif have been included the squad in place of pacer Usman Khan Shinwari and slow left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti.

The national men’s selection committee named a 16-player squad for the first ICC World Test Championship fixture against Bangladesh.

The selectors have recalled off-spinner Bilal Asif at the back of his 43 wickets in nine Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches, while Faheem Ashraf has been drafted in the side due to his all-round skills that were backed by his six wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final against Northern.

Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari have been left out, but they remain in the red-ball plans and have been advised to continue their training and preparation.

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While Kashif didn’t play against Sri Lanka, Usman made his only appearance in the Rawalpindi Test where he took one for 54.

Chair of the men’s national selection committee and head coach Misbahul Haq said: “We have followed the horses for courses policy for the Test against Bangladesh. I know the two players who have been left out will be disappointed, but they remain firmly within our plans for the red-ball cricket we are scheduled to play later this year.”

“Kashif Bhatti has paved the way for Bilal Asif considering there are left-handed batters in the Bangladesh top and middle-order, while Faheem Ashraf has been preferred over Usman Shinwari due to his all-round abilities,” he added.

Misbah also conceded that no major changes will be made to the lineup for the first Test.  

“Following our convincing victory in Karachi, I don’t envisage any major changes in the playing lineup but we have tried to cover all our bases just in case the wicket has any surprises for us,” he said.

The Pakistan team will depart for Rawalpindi on 3 February, where it will fine-tune its final preparations from 4 February.


Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imamul Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah.