South Africa Tour: Mickey Arthur rules the team; Capt. Sarfraz snubbed by Mickey Again?

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Fakhar Zaman, Muhammad Abbas, Shadab Khan struggling with fitness issues picked for South African tests purely on Mickey Arthur insistence. Capt Sarfraz Ahmed wanted Mir Hamza but Mickey Arthur over ruled and went for Muhammad Aamir. Arthur rules the team.

Cricket Analyst, Waheed Khan

The national selection committee headed by Inzamamul Haq after consultation with Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Head Coach Mickey Arthur has announced the 16-member Test squad for three- match series against South Africa.

Left-handed opening batsman Shan Masood has been called up to replace retiring Mohammad Hafeez.

“The best possible squad has been selected keeping in mind the conditions of South Africa. Three openers have been selected in the squad as Shan Masood has been selected after the retirement of Mohammad Hafeez from Test cricket,” said Inzamam.

Pacer Mohammad Amir and wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan have also been named in the squad.

“Mohammad Amir makes a comeback in the team after regaining his form in the domestic cricket which gives strength to fast bowling attack that includes four pace bowlers,” he said. “Mohammad Rizwan has been included in the squad after performing consistently in the domestic cricket and for Pakistan –A.”

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, opener Fakhar Zaman and medium-pacer Mohammad Abbas have been included in the squad despite injury concerns.

Batsman Saad Ali, fast-bowler Mir Hamza and off-spinner Bilal Asif failed to make the cut.

One more question on the selection is that there are two leg-spinners but not any off-spinner.

The first Test match of the three-match series will be played at Centurion from December 26 to 30, 2018. The second Test match will be played at Cape Town from January 3 to 7, 2019. The third and final Test match of the series will be played at Johannesburg from January 11 to 15, 2019.

Squad:

Imamul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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