Shoaib Malik breaks into Test squad after five years

Source: Published in Sports on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

All-rounder Shoaib Malik's fine form in ODIs and T20s has earned him a call-up to the Test side for Pakistan's upcoming series against England, chief selector Haroon Rashid announced on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Malik, who last played Test cricket in 2010, incidentally against the same opponents, has scored 500 runs with a century and three fifties at an average of 100 in 11 ODI innings in 2015.

The former captain has also turned his arm over regularly during this period, bowling a total of 47 overs. And though his returns have been a modest six wickets, it is understood he has been included in the Test side keeping in mind England's slew of left-handed batsmen and the absence of Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez as the team's regular off spinners.

According to Rashid, manager Intikhab Alam had made the recommendation to include Malik in the Test squad in consultation with head coach Waqar Younis after the Zimbabwe ODIs.

“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,” Rashid said.

Pakistan will be playing three Tests, four ODIs and 3 T20s against England in the UAE. The tour kicks off on October 13.

Itinerary for Pakistan-England series:

Oct. 13-17: First Test at Abu Dhabi

Oct. 22-26: Second Test at Dubai

Nov. 1-5: Third Test at Sharjah

Nov. 11: First ODI at Abu Dhabi

Nov. 13: Second ODI at Abu Dhabi

Nov. 17: Third ODI at Sharjah

Nov. 20: Fourth ODI at Dubai

Nov. 26: First T20 at Dubai

Nov. 27: Second T20 at Dubai

Nov. 30: Third T20 at Sharjah

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