Pakistan recalls Imam for test series against Bangladesh

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has recalled opening batter Imam-ul-Haq after two years for the two-test series against Bangladesh.

Imam, who played his last test against Australia at Adelaide in 2019, has impressed the selectors during the ongoing domestic first class tournament, scoring 488 runs in four matches, including a double century.

The two test matches, which are part of World Test Championship, will be played at Chittagong from Nov. 26-30 and at Dhaka from Dec. 4-8.

Imam replaced Imran Butt, who was part of the team which toured the West Indies. Butt took some scintillating slip catches since making his test debut against South Africa earlier this year, but has scored just 178 runs in 10 test innings at an average of 17.8.

“He (Butt) has a chance to continue to play and perform in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (first class tournament) so that he can force his way back into the side,” chief selector Mohammad Wasim said in a statement.

Pakistan also included uncapped opener Kamran Ghulam and offspinner Bilal Asif while fast bowlers Haris Rauf and Shahnawaz Dahani will return after the three-match Twenty20 series, which begins from Friday.

Asif has been drafted into the squad after legspinner Yasir Shah was ruled out of the series due to thumb injury. Shah sustained the injury during the National T20 Cup last month and is still recovering.

Asif has taken 16 wickets in five test matches and has been included in the side to challenge lefthanded batters in the Bangladesh team and also prepare for the home test series against Australia in March.

Bilal has replaced Yasir Shah who is still recovering from a thumb injury he sustained during the National T20 and is yet to feature in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. The off-spinner has taken 16 wickets in five Tests and has been drafted into the side as a weapon against Bangladesh's left-handed batters and also looking ahead to the home Tests against Australia.

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Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Zahid Mahmood.

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