West Indies v Pakistan Tests
Pakistan's Shadab bolts into Test squad
Teenage spinner rewarded after outstanding start to his international career in the Caribbean
6 April 2017, 03:00 PM AEST
Teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan is in line to make his Test debut, bolting into Pakistan’s Test squad to play West Indies later this month.
Shadab made his international debut in last week's T20 series against the West Indies, capturing 10 wickets against the world champions before being named player of the series.
Now his outstanding entrance to international cricket has been rewarded with a spot in the 16-player squad to meet the Windies in the three-Test series starting on April 21 in Kingston.
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The squad, led by Misbah-ul-Haq, features four other uncapped players: middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin, left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar and quicks Hasan Ali and Mohammad Abbas.
Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood have been recalled, while seven players from the Test squad which toured Australia earlier this year – Sharjeel Khan, Sohail Khan, Sami Aslam, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz and Imran Khan – have been left out of the squad.
"The Test team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions in West Indies and the recent performances of players during the domestic and international season," Pakistan Cricket Board chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said.
"The team is a fine blend of experience and youth and we believe the team will do well in the tour."
Shadab’s selection continues his meteoric rise, which saw Wasim Akram and Dean Jones refer to the 18-year-old tweaker as "pure gold" when they first saw him bowl.
He baffled the Windies batsmen with his guile and spin in the T20 series, having caught the eye of the senior national selectors when he played in the Pakistan Super League for defending champions Islamabad United.
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His main attacking weapon is a well-disguised wrong’un, or googly.
"I know my googlies are getting famous, but that's not the only one," Shadab told Associated Press from Guyana on Monday.
"I really work hard on leg-spin and flippers too and will try to be the best in all three varieties."
Former Australia batsman Jones said he could not be more impressed by Shadab's attributes.
"The very first time Akram and I saw Shadab in the nets, we looked at each other and said, 'this boy is pure gold'," Jones told PakPassion.
"He is an interesting player to coach and I have said this before as well, that for an 18-year-old-kid he has the head of a 30-year-old on him.
"He has pretty much hit the ground running and yes, he will get whacked a few times in his career but Pakistan have something special there."
At this stage, Shadab looms as very much an understudy to first-choice leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who has captured 124 wickets in 23 Tests since his 2014 debut.
Pakistan Test squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas