Pakistan has announced their team for the up coming series against South Africa and indeed there are a few surprises. The biggest and at least for now a flawed one is to not only recall Misbah-ul-Haq but to make him the captain of the test team. Misbah has not been in great form and had played his last test match against Australia this january. His last one day appearance was in the Champions trophy semi final against New Zealand. One reason that we can give in the defense is that there is no other senior player in the team other than Yousuf and he would not be willing to take up the captaincy amid the "respect" he got after the disastrous Australian tour where Pakistan failed to win even a single international game and were even accused of Match fixing later during the sydney test. An inquiry committee set up by the Pakistan Cricket board had banned Yousuf and Younis for indefinite time but the decision was later changed.
Another surprise, a good one is the inclusion of Taufeeq Umar who has got a deserving chance after being away from test Cricketfor almost four years now. Muhammad Sami gets another chance in the test team and we will have to wait and see what his performance is, remeber that Muhammad Sami is the most costly bowler with the worst average for a bowler who has played more than 15 tests.
Yasir Hameed has been dropped from the team and for sure on the basis of his interview that he gave to the NOTW which created problems for the team management in England who were alreadyunder lots of stress due to the match fixing scandal. Kamran Akmal has also been dropped due to fitness concerns.
The saddest part is the non inclusion of Younis Khan, who has once again been ignored without a sensible reason behind it. Chairman on the PCB, Ijaz Butt is putting personal differences in front of national interests. Younis should not only be included in the team but also be named the captain of the test team. Mohsin Khan the chief selector says "We needed a senior player to strengthen our batting line-up," Mohsin told the News. "Our first choice was Younis Khan but we didn't get any clearance [from the PCB], after which we discussed the option of recalling Misbah and decided to go for it."
Here are the teams and Schedule for the South Africa series later this month.
Pakistan ODI/T2O squad: Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Shoaib Akhtar, Tanvir Ahmed, Zulqarnain Haider (wk).
Pakistan Test squad: Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah ul Haq (capt), Umar Akmal. Azhar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Danish Kaneria, Abdur Rehman, Zulqarnain Haider, Umar Gul, Tanvir Ahmed, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir (subject to fitness).
Oct 26: 1st Twenty20, Abu Dhabi
Oct 27: 2nd Twenty20, Abu Dhabi
Oct 29: 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi
Oct 31: 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi
Nov 2: 3rd ODI, Dubai
Nov 5: 4th ODI, Dubai
Nov 8: 5th ODI, Dubai
Nov 12-16: 1st Test, Dubai
Nov 20-24: 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi