Pakistan announced their 18-man squad for the T20I series in New Zealand, which marks the return of Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hussain Talat in the side. The squad was picked by team's head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam in consultation with Pakistan Shaheens' coach Ijaz Ahmed.
Pakistan have named an 18-member squad for the three T20Is against New Zealand, which commences from December 18 in Auckland and will be followed by a two-match Test series. It has marked the return of former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and all-rounder Hussain Talat in the squad who have replaced Zafar Gohar and Rohail Nazir who were earlier part of the T20I side against Zimbabwe in home series.
Sarfaraz had accumulated 177 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy for Sindh with an average of just over 35. Talat, who last featured in T20Is against South Africa last year, had made a career-best double-century and a century in five innings in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy not too long ago.
Pakistan's head coach Misbah-ul-Haq stated that the squad has a good balance and they have tried to retain the core of the squad.
"For the T20Is, we have retained the squad that has been playing together for some time," Misbah said in a statement, reported TOI.
"The squad comprises young, talented and high-performing players, who are determined and eager to make names for themselves and further cement their places in the side. New Zealand boasts some of the best cricket facilities...I want my players to make optimum use of the upcoming opportunities by expressing themselves by playing fearlessly every time they take the field."
The side was picked by Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam along with inputs from Pakistan Shaheens' coach Ijaz Ahmed, who also selected his 16-member squad for the four-day match against New Zealand 'A' which is slated to take place in Whangarei from December 17.
Both Pakistan and Pakistan Shaheens squads will be leaving for Queenstown on Tuesday, after undergoing their 14-day isolation period in Christchurch.
Pakistan's T20I Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir and Wahab Riaz.
Pakistan Shaheens Squad: Rohail Nazir (captain), Abid Ali, Amad Butt, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Mal