Saeed Ajmal has been picked by Pakistan for all three formats for the tour of Bangladesh, after his remodelled action was cleared by the ICC in February. Umar Akmal, who had a poor World Cup, was dropped from the three formats, while opener Ahmed Shehzad was left out of the ODI and Test squads, but found a place in the T20 side. Allrounder Fawad Alam, who was not picked for the World Cup, made a comeback for the ODIs as Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi’s retirements vacated two spots.
Younis Khan’s name was missing from the ODI squad, but the PCB said he was “rested.” Fast bowler Junaid Khan returned to the Test and T20 squads after he missed the World Cup with a thigh injury, while Mohammad Hafeez was picked for all three formats. A calf injury had kept Hafeez out of the World Cup too, and he is yet to clear the ICC test, scheduled for April 9, with his reworked action after he was suspended last year. Wahab Riaz and Sohail Khan were rewarded for their performances in the World Cup – they were Pakistan’s top two wicket-takers – by being picked for all three formats.
The newly-appointed selection committee, led by Haroon Rasheed, made a whole host of changes for the Bangladesh tour. They named two new faces for the ODIs – wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and left-handed batsman Sami Aslam, the Under-19 captain from the 2014 World Cup. Rizwan had been in contention for the ODI squad for some time but this is the first time he has been picked. They left out an out-of-form Nasir Jamshed after he played three matches in the World Cup, making scores of 4, 1 and 0. He last scored an ODI fifty in July 2013. The selectors went for Asad Shafiq instead, who last played in the ODIs against New Zealand in the UAE in December. Shafiq has scored three fifties and a hundred this year in domestic one-dayers in Pakistan.
From the Test squad that played against New Zealand in the UAE last year, Ehsan Adil, Imran Khan, Mohammad Talha, Shan Masood and Taufeeq Umar were left out, making way for uncapped batsmen Sami Aslam and Babar Azam. The T20 squad from the same tour left out Anwar Ali, Awais Zia, Raza Hasan to bring in Sohaib Maqsood, Rizwan and uncapped batsman Mukhtar Ahmed, who has played only five domestic T20s. The 22-year-old batsman has scored two fifties and a hundred this year in one-day matches for State Bank of Pakistan, who won the President’s Gold Cup in February. He has a hundred in domestic T20s and a strike rate of 161.15.
Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, who was injured during the World Cup, was not part of any of the squads.
Pakistan Test squad: Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sami Aslam, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali
Pakistan ODI squad: Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, Sohaib Maqsood, Sami Aslam, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil, Sohail Khan
Pakistan T20 squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Mukhtar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi (capt), Sohail Tanvir, Saad Nasim, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan