Pakistan in West Indies, 2011 May 2, 2011

Salman, Junaid and Azam get Test call-ups

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman, allrounder Hammad Azam and left-arm seamer Junaid Khan are the new faces in Pakistan's 15-member squad for the upcoming two-Test series against West Indies.

Misbah-ul-Haq who led the Test side creditably in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal, remains in charge. Salman, Azam and Junaid have all been, in effect, kept on after being blooded in the limited-overs leg of the West Indies tour.

The only minor surprise in the squad was the exclusion of Adnan Akmal, who has been the Test wicketkeeper in charge since his elder brother Kamran lost his place in the five-day format in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal last summer. Over four Tests against South Africa and New Zealand he performed well with the gloves, generally neat and clean and, importantly given his brother's faltering form, safe in taking 17 dismissals.

Though there was no big innings with the bat, there was a handy 44 in Hamilton earlier this year. His replacement has impressed behind the stumps in the ongoing ODI series but hasn't really had an opportunity to do so with the bat, having batted once in three ODIs upto the fourth game between the two sides.

There is a fair degree of stability from the last Test squad for New Zealand with the three newcomers the only changes. Sohail Tanvir has been replaced by Junaid and the continuing development of middle order batsmen Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali means there is no place for Khurram Manzoor. Azam, for the first time since Yasir Arafat's brief Test flirtation in 2007-08, offers Pakistan a genuine Test all-round option - Shahid Afridi's one-Test comeback last year at Lord's notwithstanding.

Younis Khan, who was rested for the one-dayers, returns for the Tests, as does Umar Gul.

The first Test will be played from May 12 at Providence Stadium in Guyana, and the second will be played at Warner Park in St Kitts from May 20. The series is widely regarded as Pakistan's best chance to win their first-ever Test series in the Caribbean, against a weakened West Indies side that might be missing several key players.

Pakistan already have an unassailable lead in the five-match ODI series, having won the first three. West Indies won the lone Twenty20 fixture.

Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Younis Khan, Taufeeq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Salman (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Tanvir Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Mohammed Yousuf should be included in test team. He has vast experience. PCB really sucks. The selectors are not even know the ABCD of cricket.

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    hamad azam is technical very strong .......i love hamad azam bating ......and i know he is very good for test cricket and odi and he is better then razaq but it will take some time .... hamad bating yechnique is very good and i know he will perform well in test cricket

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    hamad azam is good for odi and test both he is technically very strong.. if u all understand cricket lol then watch hamad azam technique he is very talented but hamad need body

  • Shah-Ji on May 4, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    We are missing 1. Yousuf "the best batsman in Pakistan" .Sami "the best and the fastest bowler in Pakistan". Sarfraz "the best youngster in Pakistan and probably the best keeper in the world. Kaneria "The best spinner in Pakistan.

    So our best fast and slow bowlers not selected, One of the Worlds best batsman and fielder/keeper is not selected. ...no one did it with Tendulkar ,Lara, Ponting what We are doing with Yousuf.

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    @KeenObserver: Fawad is technically correct, but he lacks character. Oh! And he can't hit a 6 to save his life, at eden park Auckland even! I shudder to think of him on a perth track. Since fawad doesn't have infinitely better technique than Azhar and Asad, I don't see his place in the squad, especially when Azhar and Asad have a far stronger character. Sorry but I can't tolerate the man who didn't even have the grace to fall down fighting and made his terror so obvious. I don't think Imran Khan would have approved of such lily-livered players any more than I do. It's not that he can never impress me, he will just have to do an amazing job of it.

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    @Masrur G. Syed: And what are you doing? After criticizing regional bias you're exhibiting it yourself? Do you have no national pride that you're showing your true colours on an international forum? @Zahidsaltin: Don't compare Afridi's bowling to Yuvraj's. Yuvraj is a part-timer and Afridi is a competent spinner. The 37-ball century prevented him from coming of age as a bowler sooner, and also from justifying his batting potential. It was the biggest tragedy of his life. Some time ago EVERYBODY agreed that more than one Akmal in the squad is a nuisance. @iftikhar93: Yes the seniors were doing well, but its important to blood juniors with the seniors still around to guide them, if we want to avoid going Australia's way.

  • mursaleenkhan on May 4, 2011, 1:42 GMT

    This team has the ability of beating west Indies in test as they have won the odi series as well. Adnan is a good keeper but he still has to prove himself as a batsman.Junaid will habe to do hard work to confirm his place in playing 11.BEST OF LUCK PAKISTAN TEAM.

  • devocate on May 4, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    I do hope that the west Indies selectors, chose the best possible side and select a true captain.Darren Ganga should captain the side and bat at number four or five. Brendan Nash, Dinesh Ramdin and Shiv Chanderpaul should also make their return. My team first twelve would be Darren Ganga (capt) Dwayne Bravo Lendyl Simmons, Darren Bravo Denesh Ramdin Brendan Nash Ramnaresh Sarwan Shiv Chanderpaul Fidel Edwards Kemar Roach Ravi Rampaul and Devendra Bishoo. COMMENTS ANYONE!!!!!

  • dummy4fb on May 3, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    pakistan is best team in world its a champin of t20 and 1992

  • dummy4fb on May 3, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    agree withkaleen haroon,salman is a much better keeper than adnan

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