Taufeeq Umar © Getty Images
Taufeeq Umar has played 43 Tests © Getty Images

Oct 19, 2014

Pakistan recalled experienced opener Taufeeq Umar on Saturday for the first Test of the two-match series against Australia starting next week. The 33-year-old, who played the last of his 43 Tests in Sri Lanka two years ago, is one of the four openers in the 16-man squad with fit-again Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad likely to get into the final eleven for the first Test starting in Dubai from October 22.

Pakistan, who announced a preliminary 19-man squad on Wednesday, are in a fix to find a suitable replacement for ace spinner Saeed Ajmal who was last month suspended because of an illegal bowling action.

The 37-year-old spinner’s action was reported in the Galle Test in Sri Lanka in Pakistan’s last Test series in August this year. Pakistani selectors have named leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who is yet to play a Test, and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar who made his Test debut last year. Shah finished with 48 wickets in the last Pakistan season.

Also included in the team are uncapped 27-year-old paceman Imran Khan — a prolific wicket taker at domestic level. Left-arm paceman Rahat Ali, Mohammad Talha and Ehsan Adil — all of whom have played Tests before — are the other fast bowlers in the squad in the absence of frontline bowlers Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz who are nursing knee injuries.

Veteran batsman Younis Khan and Azhar Ali also joined the squad after not getting the nod for the 3-0 defeat in the one-day series. Pakistan also lost the only Twenty20 in Dubai before the one-days. The second Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 30.

Squad: Misbah-ul Haq (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Shan Masood, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Talha, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Ehsan Adil, Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah.

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