Pakistan tour of England: Sarfarz Ahmed back in Pakistan test squad, Azhar Ali to lead

Pakistan on Monday announced a 20-man squad to take on England in the upcoming 3-Test series from August 5 to 25. Pakistan picked the shortlisted squad from a 29-member touring party.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fawad Alam, Wahab Riaz were notable inclusion as the veteran players returned to the squad for the much-anticipated Test series. The first Test will be played in Manchester from August 5 while the 2nd and 3rd Test will be played in Southampton.
“Following the conclusion of two four-day intra-squad matches, Pakistan shortlisted the squad for the three-match Test series against England,” the PCB said in a release.
Azhar Ali has been named the captain of the side while limited-overs skipper Babar Azam will be his deputy in England.
Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has not played Test cricket for Pakistan since January 2019, returns to the side. However, he was picked in the touring party as a back-up to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.
Pakistan tour of England : Sarfarz Ahmed back in Pakistan test squad
Sarfaraz Ahmed led the Pakistan White team during their 2nd four-day intrasquad match in County Ground in Derby which ended on July 27. Rizwan though is likely to get the nod ahead of Sarfaraz, given he performed well in the practice matches, hitting a hundred in the first match played from July 17 to 20.
On the other hand, Wahab Riaz, who took an indefinite break from red-ball cricket in 2019, also finds a place in the squad. Wahab had made himself available before the tour of England.
Opener Fawad Alam, who has not played a Test since 2009, was also back in the squad.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Usman Shanwari are part of the pace attack which also has experienced campaigners in Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Abbas and Sohail Khan.
Meanwhile, the remaining nine players – Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa Khan – will continue to train with the squad for the T20I series, which will be played at the backend of the Test series.
Pakistan landed in England as early as June after 10 of their players initially tested positive for the novel coronavirus. However, after getting negative test results, several of them joined the squad in the UK wherein they lived and trained in a biosecure environment.
Pakistan squad for England Tests: Azhar Ali (Captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Assad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Nassem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah.