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Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hussain Talat included in Pakistan T20I squad for New Zealand series
Pakistan News

Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hussain Talat included in Pakistan T20I squad for New Zealand series

Pakistan have made two changes to their T20I squad that defeated Zimbabwe 3-0 at home last month for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

Hussain Talat and Sarfaraz Ahmed are the two players recalled in place of Zafar Gohar and Rohail Nazir, both of whom failed to get a game in the Zimbabwe clashes, whereas Fakhar Zaman was ruled out of the tour after suffering a fever.

Gohar and Nazir have instead been included in the Pakistan Shaheens line-up with the latter being handed captaincy duties for the four-day match against New Zealand A in Whangarei from December 17.

Pakistan's T20I contests will commence on December 18 in Auckland, with the team heading to the city three days before the opening match.

"Both Pakistan and Pakistan Shaheens squads are scheduled to depart for Queenstown on Tuesday, 8 December, after completing their 14-day isolation period in Christchurch. In Queenstown, both the sides will stay in different hotels and train at different times and according to their match requirements," the PCB stated in its media release.

Talat last played for Pakistan against South Africa at Centurion in February 2019 after breaking into the side on the back of strong performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

He was subsequently dropped from the national team over issues pertaining to his strike rate in the shortest format but he has proven his mettle lately with a spate of quality knocks in the National T20 Cup.

Talat was one of the standout batsmen for runners up Southern Punjab, amassing three fifties and scoring at a strike rate upwards of 150 throughout the tournament.

Meanwhile, Sarfaraz was part of the Pakistan team in the England tour and played in the final game of the three-match T20I series.

The former Pakistan skipper had a rather lukewarm outing in the Old Trafford T20I as he did not get a chance to bat and botched a stumping to potentially dismiss Moeen Ali early on.

“For the T20Is, we have retained the squad that has been playing together for some time. 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," head coach Misbah-ul-Haq commented on the outlook of the team.

Pakistan's Shaheens set-up is lined up with most of the Test regulars, providing them with an opportunity to gain the requisite red-ball match practice.

“Apart from providing youngsters the opportunity to get some experience and exposure, the objective of Shaheens was to help the red-ball Pakistan men’s national team players prepare for the Tests by featuring in the pre-series matches against New Zealand ‘A’," said Pakistan Shaheens coach Ijaz Ahmed.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan (vice-capt), 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, Wahab Riaz

Pakistan Shaheens squad

Rohail Nazir (capt), 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, Zeeshan Malik