Gul, Riaz recalled in Pak Test squad against Lanka
Karachi: Seasoned pace bowlers Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz were today recalled to the Pakistan squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka but the national selectors dropped young batsman Umar Akmal for the three matches.
"We have picked the Test squad keeping in mind the climate and strength of the opposition," chief selector Mohsin Khan told a press conference on Sunday.
"The squad has been picked basically on basis of the players performance in international and domestic cricket," he said.
Except for the omission of Umar Akmal, the younger brother of discarded wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, there were no real surprises in the squad announced after a meeting of the selection committee at the National Stadium here.
The selectors had rested the three senior bowlers, Gul, Riaz and left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman for the recent tour to Zimbabwe but Mohsin said keeping in mind that Sri Lanka were stronger opposition, the trio had been included in the side to strengthen the bowling attack.
The selectors apparently omitted the talented Umar Akmal to retain former captain Shoaib Malik in the Test squad.
Malik had gone to Zimbabwe with the full squad in August but did not play in the lone Test.
Mohsin said the team management and selectors were now keen to give Malik a chance to break into the Test squad.
"It is basically up to him the chance will come sooner or later," said Mohsin.
The selectors also did not retain pace bowlers Sohail Khan and Sohail Tanvir from the Zimbabwe tour although both were preferred over Gul and Riaz for that tour.
But left-arm pacer Junaid Khan retained his place in the side.
Pakistan have been forced to play their "home" series in the UAE after the Sri Lankans refused to tour Pakistan because of security concerns and the series includes three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.
Pakistan have not played a series at home since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
Pakistan Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt),Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik, Adnan Akmal, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan.