Pakistan have handed Azam Khan, the son of legendary Moin Khan, a maiden international call-up and have picked the hard-hitting right-hander for the T20Is against England and West Indies. Meanwhile, Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah have been recalled for the Windies Tests after being dropped.
Pakistan’s T20I batting line-up is set to be all the more explosive as the selectors have handed 22-year-old Azam Khan a maiden call-up for the T20Is against England and West Indies. Azam, the son of legendary wicket-keeper Moin, plies his trade for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL and is renowned to be an extremely explosive batsman. The right-hander, in his T20 career, boasts a strike rate of 157.41 and, last year, got recognition at the global level by turning out to be a star performer for Lanka Premier League side Galle Gladiators, for whom he struck at an astounding 186.95.
Pakistan, for years now, have been searching for an explosive batsman in the middle-order and in their quest of doing so, the Men in Green have handed young Azam a call-up. The T20I squad for the tour of England and West Indies also sees the return of Imad Wasim, who last featured in the shortest format against the Kiwis last year. Imad captained the Karachi Kings to the PSL 2020 title last season, and the all-rounder sees himself return to the setup six months prior to the World T20, that is likely to be held in UAE.
The ODI squad, meanwhile, sees the return of Haris Sohail, who boasts an average of almost 47 in the format. The Pakistan selectors have been criticised in the past for continuing to overlook Sohail despite his stellar record, but, this time around, they have opted to pick the southpaw, who, like Wasim, last donned the Green jersey back in 2020.
Sohail, however, is not the only player making a comeback, as the Test side sees the return of both Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah. Abbas and Shah were not picked for the South Africa and Zimbabwe Tests due to their dwindling form, but the duo have been selected to tour the Windies. Notably, Abbas has impressed in the County championships for Hampshire, for whom he has, thus far, picked 27 wickets at an average of 15.96.
The white-ball tour of England will commence on July 8 in Cardiff, post which the Babar Azam-led side will be travelling to the Caribbean Islands.
ODIs vs England
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali , Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali , Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Qadir
T20Is vs Pakistan and England
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan and Usman Qadir.
Tests vs West Indies
Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood.