Pakistan retain squad for New Zealand

Karachi, Nov 6:

Riding on a wave of success, Pakistan selectors today retained the 16-member squad that outplayed Australia recently, for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.

There were speculations that Hafeez might get the axe for the Tests against New Zealand as he struggled while opening against Australia, but chief selector Moin Khan today announced that the same squad had been retained.

“The same squad that featured in the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi has been retained for the sake of consistency which will bring more stability and strengthen team bonding and combination,” Moin said in a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The selectors have decided to give Hafeez a chance because of his role as a fifth bowler in the Pakistan line up.

Pakistan won the two-Test series against Australia 2-0, their first win against their opponents in 20 years. Now they will play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals against the Black Caps.

The first Test is scheduled on November 9 in Abu Dhabi.

“We need to put this success behind us for the moment and switch our focus on the series against New Zealand. It will be a fresh start and we will need to keep the momentum going. Obviously, this is another opportunity for the youngsters to test and hone their skills in this series,” Moin said.

He said the victory over Australia was the result of some good teamwork and splendid performances from the seniors like Younis Khan and captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

“It was an overall team effort. And we hope to continue in the same vein against New Zealand.”

Pakistani batsmen scored nine centuries in the two Tests.

Pakistan squad: Muhammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Taufiq Umar, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah, Imran Khan, Rahat Ali, Muhammd Talha, Ehsan Adil and Shaan Masood. (PTI)

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