Three youngsters likely to be added to squad for second Test

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In an attempt to give youngsters exposure to top-level cricket and understand the dressing room envi-ronment, the Pakistan cricket selection committee has invited a new batch of three youngsters to share a dressing room with the Pakistan Test squad during the second Test against New Zealand in Karachi.

Sources have confirmed that batters Haseebullah and Saim Ayub along with fast bowler Ihsanullah have been invited to share the dressing room with players during the second Test.

In the first Test, the selectors invited Basit Ali, Arafat Minhas and M Zeeshan to share the dressing room and get exposure.

Haseeb and Saim are the two leading run scorers of the ongoing Pakistan Cup. Balochistan’s Haseeb has scored 504 runs in 10 innings at an average of 50.40 while Sindh’s Saim has amassed 461 runs from an equal number of innings. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 20-year-old fast bowler Ihsanullah has got 24 wickets in 10 games.

The trio have good numbers in Quaid e Azam Trophy as well where Saim has scored 516 runs while Haseeb scored 416 runs. Ihsanullah got 22 wickets in 7 first-class games this season.

Shahid Afridi, the interim chief selector had ear-lier said that this is being done to provide youngsters with an experience of the dressing room environment and understand game strategy.

“It is important for youngsters to share a dressing room with top players and learn from their game,” Afridi said.

The selection committee is of the view that it is important for youngsters to stay aligned with longer format games as most of the youngsters are more focused on T20 only.

A source in the selection committee said that Afridi and his team want this practice adopted so that players can feel the essence of Test cricket.—Agencies