Mohammad Amir dropped for two-Test series against Australia

Mohammad Amir has been left out of the Pakistan national team that will face Australia in the series of two tests in the UAE next month. The 26-year-old, who has missed a single test since returning to international cricket in 2016, seems to have paid the price of his poor ODI form in the recent Asian Cup, which excluded him from the 17-member squad called by the PCB today.

Amir managed to collect only one terrain in his last eight ODI, with an average of more than 200 runs per terrain in that format. He was impressive in this year's test format, three games against Ireland and England, where he took 12 wickets at an average of 18.40. However, their average bowling in the UAE is much less flattering, albeit with a small sample size; in four Tests in the adoptive home of Pakistan, he has taken seven plots in 56.4.

There are a number of other notable changes in the Pakistan squad, announced the day after an ignominious exit from the Asian Cup held by Bangladesh, which denied them a title shot against India on Friday. His overall performance in the tournament was well below the level. Several batters fought for careers, while the spinners were largely ineffective, and Pakistan's standards suffered a significant drop.

Shan Masood, a testing specialist so far, was included in the Asian Cup team, but did not make his debut. He is now outside the test side, with Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq appointed to share the opening duties. Haris Sohail keeps his place on the test side, while Usman Salahuddin, who traveled to England but could not get a game, is also part of the squad.

Pakistan squad for the two test series against Australia in the UAE ESPNcricinfo Ltd

A key inclusion, for the first time in more than a year, is that of Reserve Ranger Mohammad Rizwan. Since Sarfraz Ahmed assumed the functions of full-time captain in all three formats, he has played all international matches in all three formats, and has been the only wicketkeeper to travel with the team. That changes as Pakistan prepares to face Australia after intense scrutiny over the participation of the Sarfraz captaincy in Pakistan's exit from the Asian Cup and his personal form with the bat.

Wahab Riaz, dramatically omitted from the tour to the UK after questions about his physical condition, is back in the lineup, as are a series of markers, indicative of the likely nature of the pitches in which they will be played the two tests. Pakistan may not have named a single pitcher on the A side that will face Australia in a four-day game, but no less than three specialized rotaries are part of the test squad. In addition to the usual suspects Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, 33-year-old substitute pitcher Bilal Asif was included, who will debut in the event if he takes part in the series. Asif previously played three ODIs for Pakistan in 2015.

There is still no place in the team for Mohammad Hafeez, who retired for the Asian Cup in the wake of continued problems with his bowling action, which limited his reliability as a general option option. Although it was recently approved by the ICC after being informed for the third time, there is a feeling that Pakistan is trying to move on from the 37-year-old, who last played a test match in 2016.

The 26- Mir Hamza, a one-year-old left-arm media player, is there on the team. In 56 first class games, Hamza averages 17 with the ball, and has 26 pitches of five wickets to his name.

The first Test begins on October 7 in Dubai. Pakistan won both test matches in the UAE the last time Australia visited, but Australia paid him the favor last year at home, beating Pakistan 3-0.

Template: Azhar Ali, Fajar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt and wk), Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan


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