Ali, Abrar new faces in squad for England Tests.

LAHORE -- Terming Pakistan's fast bowling attack strong even without injured spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, chief selector Mohammad Wasim on Monday announced the national Test squad, with four changes, for the forthcoming three-match home series against England.

The 18-member squad contains four changes including two new faces - pacer Mohammad Ali and leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed - for the three-Test series starting at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Dec 1.

Uncapped pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr and leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood, who were part of the Test side for the three home Tests against Australia earlier this year, are the other two players who returned to the side.

The four omissions from the squad, which played in an away two-Test series against Sri Lanka in July-August this year, include Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah - due to below-par performance - and Shaheen.

While announcing the squad at a press conference here, Wasim said though Pakistan had limited fast bowling options in Tests, the bowlers other than injured Shaheen held decent record in white-ball formats and the pace department looked potent.

'If you see the performances of Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim [in white-ball game] we have great hope from them in the [England] Test series, too,' the chief selector said.

'Yes we have limited options in red-ball cricket compared to short formats. If you look at the domestic performances of Mohammad Ali they are also impressive. [ThereAfore], I think we have a strong fast bowling attack against England.'

Responding to a question regarding the decision to include 22-year-old Shaheen in the playing XI at the recently-held T20 World Cup led to a bad result (injury), Wasim dispelled the impression.

'In the first couple of [World Cup], matches Shaheen took time to regain his rhythm but once he got it he looked the same lethal Shaheen, as you saw him [in the group match] against South Africa at Sydney,' Wasim remarked.

'But unfortunately he again sustained [the] knee injury while fielding, and not due to bowling. Therefore, it is wrong to criticise that he played the T20 World Cup prematurely,' the chief selector said, who seemed satisfied over Pakistan's performance in the World Cup where the Babar Azam-led green-shirts went down fighting against a formidable England side in the final at Melbourne.

Shaheen was unavailable for selection after he underwent on Sunday an appendicitis surgery, which will require three-four weeks'...

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