Pakistan drop Tanvir and Afridi for Sri Lanka Test

Karachi: Pakistani selectors on Wednesday included five uncapped players in a new-look 15-man squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka starting on Saturday.

Chief selector Abdul Qadir said opener Ahmed Shahzad was picked after batting a brilliant 100 in the two-day tour match against Sri Lanka.

“Shahzad was not selected in the initial squad of 22 but I said last week that we can pick a player from outside the first list, so after hitting a 100 against Sri Lanka we could not ignore Shahzad,” Qadir told reporters.

Pacemen Mohammad Talha and Sohail Khan, opener Khurram Manzoor and all-rounder Fawad Alam were selected after domestic match performances.

The 20-year-old Talha, who hails from Faisalabad, has impressed with his quick pace and wicket-taking ability in domestic matches.

Left-handed middle-order batsman Asim Kamal was also included in the team after breaking into the initial list.

The 32-year-old left-hander played the last of his 12 Tests against England in 2005 before losing his place due to poor form.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi and paceman Sohail Tanveer were omitted.

With frontline paceman Shoaib Akhtar ruled out of the series because of an injured knee, Umar Gul will lead the fast bowling attack with Sohail, Talha and Yasir Arafat as back-up.

Arafat played his only Test against India at Bangalore in December 2007, picking up five wickets in the innings. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is the only regular spinner in the squad.

Squad: Younis Khan (captain), Salman Butt, Khurram Manzoor, Ahmed Shahzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Yasir Arafat, Danish Kaneria, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Talha, Sohail Khan

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