Pakistan's spin bowler Bilal Asif. Image Credit: AP

Lahore: Pakistan have named a 16-player squad for the first ICC World Test Championship fixture against Bangladesh, to be played in Rawalpindi from 7-11 February.

The selectors have recalled off-spinner Bilal Asif at the back of his 43 wickets in nine Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches, while Faheem Ashraf has been drafted in the side due to his all-round skills that were backed by his six wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final against Northern.

Two changes have been made in the side that was named for the two ICC World Test Championship Tests against Sri Lanka.

Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari have been left out, but they remain in the red-ball plans and have been advised to continue their training and preparation. While Kashif didn’t play against Sri Lanka, Usman made his only appearance in the Rawalpindi Test where he took one for 54.

Misbah-ul-Haq, chairman of the men’s national selection committee and head coach, said at a news conference: “We have followed the horses for courses policy for the Test against Bangladesh.

“I know the two players who have been left out will be disappointed, but they remain firmly within our plans for the red-ball cricket we are scheduled to play later this year”.

“Kashif Bhatti has paved the way for Bilal Asif considering there are left-handed batters in the Bangladesh top and middle-order, while Faheem Ashraf has been preferred over Usman Shinwari due to his all-round abilities”.