shaheen afridi
Shaheen Afridi (AFP Photo)

Pakistan have included the uncapped pair of Shaheen Afridi and Saad Ali in a 15-man squad for the first two Tests of a three-match series against New Zealand in the UAE. However, opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, who scored twin fifties on Test debut, has been rested alongside spinner Shadab Khan.

The 18-year-old Afridi has been rewarded for his excellent form that has seen him claim eight wickets in two matches of the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand. Saad has earned the callup on the basis of his domestic form and after scoring 144 for Pakistan A against New Zealand A recently.

Mohammad Amir continues to be sidelined after a poor run of form while Wahab Riaz has been dropped for going wicketless in the first Test against Australia in October.

The first Test of the series starts from November 16 in Abu Dhabi while the second will be played in Dubai from November 24. The squad for the third Test, to be played in Abu Dhabi from December, will be announced later.

“The team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions of the UAE, where Shahdab Khan and Fakhar Zaman have been rested from the Test matches and have also been advised to undergo training at the NCA,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Inzamam ul Haq said in a media release on Saturday.

He added, “Shaheen Shah Afridi has been included in the squad keeping his current form. Saad Ali included in the side after performing in domestic cricket and recent Pakistan ‘A’ series in the UAE.”

Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza.