Saud Shakeel ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/saud-shakeel-652687) has been added to Pakistan’s squad for the 2023 Asia Cup. Tayyab Tahir ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/tayyab-tahir-824159), who had initially been named in the 17-member squad, misses out but will be part of the traveling reserves.
Shakeel has only played five ODIs so far but made an impressive start to his Test career. He has amassed six fifties and two hundreds in seven Tests including a match-winning 208* against Sri Lanka ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/pakistan-in-sri-lanka-2023-1385664/sri-lanka-vs-pakistan-1st-test-1385685/full-scorecard) in Galle after Pakistan’s top order was dismantled by the home spinners. He has 2489 runs in List A matches at an average of 44.44.
Faheem Ashraf was initially picked ahead of Shakeel for the tournament. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s new chief selector, had said that they preferred Faheem’s all-round abilities over Shakeel’s specialist batting skills. He was only named in the 18-member squad for the Afghanistan series.
Shakeel was part of the final ODI against Afghanistan ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/afghanistan-in-sri-lanka-aug-2023-2023-1392507/afghanistan-vs-pakistan-3rd-odi-1390346/full-scorecard), where he made 9 of 6 before being run out. He will travel along with the team to Multan on Sunday.
The Asia Cup-bound players who played against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka are set to arrive in Multan on Sunday. A PCB release said that Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq and Naseem Shah will travel to Lahore on Sunday and join the side on Monday evening.
Pakistan are scheduled to play Nepal in the Asia Cup opener in Multan on August 30.
Pakistan Asia Cup squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim. Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir