Mohammad Hafeez earned a late inclusion in the Pakistan Test squad that will take on Australia after months of being overlooked.
The veteran all-rounder, who bats at the top of the order and offers an off-spin option, recently got his call-up into the massive 18-man Pakistan squad that will face off against Australia in a two-Test series in the UAE. The inclusion comes as a surprise considering that Hafeez hasn’t played a Test match for over two years as he seemed to fall out of favour with the selectors.
Hafeez, who will be 38 years old in October, gets his opportunity after serving a suspension for his bowling action and his right-hand off-spin will be a key fixture in the bowling options against an Australian team with plenty of left-handers. He will also bolster a very young – and slightly inexperienced – top-order batting lineup as he joins the ranks of uncapped Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq (who has only played three Tests) and regular opener Azhar Ali.
There came a point when it appeared his career on the international stage was reaching a conclusion after being named in the squad for the bilateral series against Zimbabwe but not playing any matches, and being excluded from the recently concluded Asia Cup entirely. He has been at odds with Mickey Arthur, the Pakistan head coach, for a while now after it became apparent that the coach didn’t consider him a part of his future plans.
Hafeez has enjoyed a rich vein of form in Pakistan’s premier first-class tournament with a stunning double century just last month and picked up a six-wicket haul in the first match he played. He will hope to transfer that form on to the international stage as he looks to prove that he belongs in the Pakistan set-up.
Pakistan Squad: Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Hafeez
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