Lahore: Pakistan selectors on Friday recalled fast bowler Mohammad Amir in the 16-member squad for the three-match Test tour of South Africa starting later this month.
The first Test at Centurion from December 26. Pakistan will also play five One-day Internationals and three Twenty20 internationals on the tour, for which squads will be announced later.
The second Test will be played at Cape Town from January 3 to 7 next year, while the third and final match is in Johannesburg from January 11 to 15.
Amir was dropped from the side after failing to get a single wicket in three Asia Cup matches in the UAE in September this year.
He missed Pakistan’s two-match Test series against Australia and then three Tests against New Zealand — both in UAE — but chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq believes the left-armer has regained his form in domestic matches.
“Amir makes a comeback in the team after regaining his form in domestic cricket, giving strength to a fast bowling attack that includes four pace bowlers,” said Inzamam while announcing the squad.
Also staging comebacks are leg-spinner Shadab Khan, and openers Fakhar Zaman and Shan Masood.
Zaman made his Test debut against Australia before he was ruled out of the New Zealand series with a knee injury, while Shadab missed both series due to a hamstring problem.
Masood, who played the most recent of his 12 Tests in October last year, was also brought back after recent good form, scoring twin hundreds in a four-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ two months ago.
Back-up wicketkeeper to Sarfraz Ahmad, Mohammad Rizwan has also returned to the squad after his consistent performance in the domestic cricket and for Pakistan ‘A’.
But there were no places for off-spinner Bilal Asif, who took five wickets in the ongoing Abu Dhabi Test against New Zealand, and Lahore opener Abid Ali, who has also been scoring heavily at the domestic level and for Pakistan ‘A’.
Inzamam’s nephew Imam-ul-Haq gets another chance despite scoring a mere 73 runs in three Tests against New Zealand.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmad (captain), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi