Pakistan in South Africa 2013 January 11, 2013

Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil in Test squad

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Fast bowlers Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil are among five players who have been called up to the Pakistan Test squad for the tour of South Africa, which begins at the end of the month. Batsmen Nasir Jamshed and Haris Sohail, and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed were the other inclusions who were not on the Test tour of Sri Lanka in June and July 2012.

The players left out were wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, fast bowlers Aizaz Cheema and Mohammad Sami, batsman Mohammad Ayub and Afaq Raheem.

Asad Shafiq, who had missed the limited-overs tour to India due to a finger injury, has recovered and is back in the national team. Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who was banned by the ECB during last year's county season for failing a dope Test, also returns to the squad.

Irfan and Jamshed performed impressively in the ODI series in India. Irfan made an impact because of his height, using his seven-foot frame to generate pace and bounce, Jamshed scored two hundreds in three matches and was the Player of the Series. Haris Sohail was part of the ODI squad to India but did not get a game.

Adnan, who has been Pakistan's specialist wicketkeeper and has played 16 Test matches between 2010 and 2012, was reportedly dropped for being unfit. However, Adnan is currently playing the ongoing first-class tournament and has scored 243 runs at 121.50. Interestingly, none of the Akmal brothers - Kamran, Umar and Adnan - feature in the squad.

Adil was part of Pakistan's Under-19 team at the 2012 World Cup Australia, where they made the quarterfinals. Sarfraz last played a Test for Pakistan in 2010, in Hobart. His last ODI was in Colombo in June 2012. He was out of action due to finger injury, but in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy he is the leading wicketkeeper with 13 dismissals.

Pakistan play three Tests in South Africa, in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Centurion. The first Test begins on February 1.

Test squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Umar Gul, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil, Saeed Ajmal, Adbur Rehman, Haris Sohail, Faisal Iqbal, Taufeeq Umar, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk).

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on January 14, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    @Sports4Youth firstly don't compare first class stats with international especially test have you seen sarfarazs international stats he has an average of 19 in odis with 4 not outs and a highest score of 46 and in tests he has 6 runs in two innings.The problem is that he will be a disaster because he is not playing on Pakistani pitches he is playing in south Africa against the best pace battery in the world right now

  • Daniel_Cartwright on January 14, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    perfect squad but with a little stain of faisal iqbal, but with a squad like that im willing to give him yet another try, good job pakistani selectors

  • dummy4fb on January 14, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Good Selection! Although one pacer is short for three test of South African soil. Good to see no Akmal in the squad. Regarding Adnan Akmal I am totally agreed with @Sports4Youth (Sarfraz-Adnan I compleately dis-agree with you. Please see the first class records of both the players and you will know why. Sarfraz definately deserves a fair opportuninty at the test level. Adnan was given easier assignments on UAE & SRi Lankan pitches. Now Sarfraz has got a difficult assignment on SA pitches, but I am sure he will perform better than Adnan). In Middle order Faisal Iqbal/Haris Sohail one of them should be selected and 5th pacer should be given chance in place of above two.

  • dummy4fb on January 14, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    its good to see akmal brothers

  • Sachit1979 on January 14, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    It looks like very unbalanced squad. 1.> Just 4 pacers that also with doubts on fitness of Irfan. 2.> No second wicket keeper. Moreover first choice wicket keeper Adnan Akmal has been dropped out. 3.> 9 batsmen included with no justifying reason behind Taufeeq Umar's and Faisal Iqbal's selection.

    It would be too much of ask from Misbah and this team to perform well in SA conditions. Still I wish them best of luck.

  • spellbinder76 on January 13, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    Once again Fawad Alam is ignored although he is best cricses player. Pakistan team need specialist and stop experementing with all rounders or a wicket-keeper who can also bat. remember Kamran Akmal lost ius the World Cup in India. Faisal Iqbal is going as a tourist as he will never gets a chance to play. Akmal brothers will be back in the ODI and t-20 teams.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on January 13, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Lets me tell you few guys who dont have any worth in international cricket but still they are getiing chance again and again.. they are Faisal Iqbal, Yasir Arfat, Sohail Tanvir, Aizaz cheemz, Umar Amin and Imran Farhat.. there are few are quaiclky falling in this side are Umar Gul, Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal. I am really happy that selction panel has selected some very talented guys like Nasir Jamshed, Haris Soshail, Junaid Khan, Ehsan Adil and Muhammad Irfan. Azhar, Shafeeq, anwar ali, raza hassan and Umar Akmal are among the one to replace old guns in future. If Ahmad Shahzad can work on his technique he can be among them as well.

  • dummy4fb on January 13, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    Taufeeq umar will most probably falter on high bounce pitches, getting bold of inside edges may be what will happen to Taufeeq, Nasir is the way forward for Pakistan, they need to also go in with three pacers , hold their catches behind the stumps, the gully area will be the key. another selection worry could be Irfan, there is always going to be question mark on his fitness, if he would be able to survive five days of rigorous cricket. the bounce will help Ajmal too and he could he a real threat. Batting is the main area of concern , Misbah, Younis , Asad and Azhar will have to come to the party. In case of a collapse; Sarfaraz's batting would be the key, leaf out of Matt Prior's book. Best of luck to the boys!

  • Sports4Youth on January 13, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    @ ahassan :

    Regardig Faisal Iqbal you are right. He is in the team because he is the nephew of Javed Miandad who is the present director, PCB.

    Regarding Sarfraz-Adnan I compleately dis-agree with you. Please see the first class records of both the players and you will know why. Sarfraz definately deserves a fair opportuninty at the test level. Adnan was given easier assignments on UAE & SRi Lankan pitches. Now Sarfraz has got a difficult assignment on SA pitches, but I am sure he will perform better than Adnan.

    .

  • Sports4Youth on January 13, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    @ Khawaja Fahad : Sorry, I dont agree with your comment regarding Adnan-Sarfraz. Please see the batting averages of both the players in the first class matches. Also in the recently concluded tournament Sarfraz was the best wicket keeper with the most number of dissmissals.

    Sarfraz has a batting average of 42 in first class matches.

    Adnan has a batting average of 24 in first class matches. How can Adnan be a better player than Sarfraz. Sarfraz is getting his first opportunity in Test matches. I am sure he will perform better than Adnan.

    .