Pakistan allrounder Shoaib Malik has been included as the 16th member of the Test squad for the upcoming series against England in the UAE. Malik, who last played a Test in August 2010, was picked on the request of the team management who were keen to have him in the side based on his current batting form in limited overs and as an extra bowling option.
A press release from the Pakistan Cricket Board stated that team manager Intikhab Alam had made the request to chief selector Haroon Rashid, stating that he and head coach Waqar Younis were in favour of Shoaib Malik being retained “given his present form in T20Is and the ODIs”. Rashid’s recommendation was then approved by PCB chairman Shahryar Khan.
Malik made a comeback to the international side in the home series against Zimbabwe in May, after a gap of two years, and struck an ODI hundred in Lahore. In 11 ODI innings this year, Malik has scored 500 runs with a century and three fifties at an average of 100, while his run tally in T20 internationals stands at 118 from six matches. Malik’s most recent fifty was an unbeaten knock of 96 in the second ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare, which ended in a five-run defeat for Pakistan due to bad light.
“Following Intikhab Alam’s request, I spoke with my fellow selectors and there was unanimity over retaining Malik keeping in mind his current batting form and the off-spin bowling option that could be handy in the all-important forthcoming Test series against England,” said Haroon Rashid.
The three-Test series against England kicks off with the first match in Abu Dhabi from October 13. The second and third Tests will be played in Dubai and Sharjah from October 22 and November 1, respectively.