Pakistan cricket board has announced a 15-member squad for the third Test against New Zealand. There are no changes in the squad and the team will look to field their full-strength team for the decider game.
Underperforming players Bilal Asif and Mohammad Hafeez have retained their spots in the team as it seems that the selectors have faith in them.
Hafeez scored a hundred in his comeback Test against Australia but since then has lost his mojo. He is struggling to get runs and has fared poorly in the 2 Tests so far.
On the other hand, spin bowler Asif Bilal too has been retained. Yasir Shah’s brilliance has over-shadowed Bilal’s shoddy performance but the team management seems to be content with the spinner.
Interestingly, Fakhar Zaman who has recovered from his injury hasn’t been considered by the selectors. Zaman is one of Pakistan’s emerging stars in the batting department and since his debut in white-ball cricket he has brought solidarity in Pakistan’s top order.
He did well against Australia and scored 94 and 66 runs in two innings. But the selectors have overlooked him and have gone ahead with Hafeez.
New Zealand won the first Test in a thrilling fashion as the Kiwi bowlers exhibited an inspired performance to defend a small total.
However in the second Test, riding on Yasir Shah’s magical performance, Pakistan routed New Zealand to level the series.
Yasir created history in the second innings as he claimed eight wickets and registered the best-bowling figures against New Zealand ever in Tests and also become the only second bowler to take ten wickets in a single day in a Test match.
Pakistan squad for the third Test: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza.