Pakistan has decided to bolster its bowling line-up ahead of the first test against New Zealand adding pacers Mir Hamza, Shahnawaz Dahani and off-spinner Sajid Khan to the team.

The decision was taken by interim chief selector Shahid Khan Afridi as his first act in the role.

“We had a good discussion on the squad and agreed we needed to strengthen our bowling department to give ourselves the best chance of taking 20 wickets in a match,” Afridi said in a PCB media release.

“I am confident the inclusion of three additional bowling resources will give Babar Azam more options to field the best available squad for the first Test.”

Sajid and Mir Hamza have already represented Pakistan in test matches but Dahani remains uncapped due to his expertise in limited-overs cricket.

The off-spinner, who has seven Test appearances to his name so far, was part of the Pakistan squad for the three-match series against Australia in March. Hamza’s solitary appearance came against Australia as well back in 2018.

Sajid was dropped from the team after having a minimal impact against the Aussies albeit in difficult conditions. He turned his form around during the 2022-23 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, picking up 21 wickets in seven first-class matches at 34.04 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Hamza finished with 16 wickets in four games at an average of 24.00 while Dahani appeared in only two games for Sindh this season due to his international team commitments.

The first of the two tests will start on Monday, December 26th.

It has also been announced that the second Test will be moved from Multan to Karachi because of weather concerns.