The 31-year-old missed the fitness test being held at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. With Yasir missing, the series offers a chance for young Shadab Khan, who has mainly plied his trade in the limited overs format until now. He debuted in the longest format during Pakistan’s tour of West Indies under Misbah last year but returned with ordinary figures of 1-90 and 0-55.
The other potential contenders include Mohammad Nawaz and Zulfiqar Babar. Nawaz has five wickets in three appearances in the whites for Pakistan at 29.4 a piece while Babar has 54 scalps in 15 Test at 39.4. Both Nawaz and Babar played their last Test against West Indies during their tour of the UAE in late 2016.
The other big names missing from the fitness test include Sohail Khan and Imad Wasim.
Middle-order batsman Fawad Alam is also part of the fitness tests but his chances of selection for the national squad seem minimal as the management is likely to stick with Haris Sohail and Babar Azam in the middle-order alongside veterans Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. The other names being touted for a potential call up include Hussain Talat and Faheem Ashraf – both fast bowling all-rounders.
The team for the tour will be announced following the fitness tests.
Ireland will host Pakistan for their first-ever Test in Dublin starting May 11, following which Pakistan will travel to England to play two Test matches. The first Test will start on May 24 at Lord’s followed by Leeds Test starting June 1.