Islamabad: Pakistan have named an 18-man squad for the T20I series against New Zealand later this month with two changes from the side that faced Zimbabwe at home.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Hussain Talat were named in the Pakistan T20I squad for the series against New Zealand to be played December 18, 20 and 22.
Pakistan will depart for Queenstown on Tuesday post completing their 14-day isolation period in Christchurch. While Hussain comes in for Zafar Gohar, Sarfaraz Ahmed replaces Rohail Nazir, who will captain the Pakistan Shaheens in the four-day tour game against New Zealand A. The 19-year-old Nazir skippered Pakistan in this year's ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.
Fakhar Zaman, who had played in the three T20Is against Zimbabwe, is another name missing after he was left out for the New Zealand tour, for precautionary reasons, due to high fever.
The final squad was arrived at after discussions between head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam and in consultation with the Shaheens coach, Ijaz Ahmed.
"New Zealand are a formidable side in their conditions and their recent performances against the West Indies confirm why they are ranked second in Tests and just behind us in T20Is in sixth position.
"For the T20Is, we have retained the squad that has been playing together for some time. The squad comprises young, talented and high-performing players, who are determined and eager to make names for themselves and further cement their places in the side," Misbah said.
The T20I series begins on December 18 with the first game at Eden Park, Auckland. The other two matches will be played at Hamilton and Napier.
Squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir and Wahab Riaz(UNI)