Zahir Khan’s selection was initially held up due to fitness concerns but the young left-arm spinner has now been added to the squad after being declared completely fit.
The 20-year-old has so far played in seven first-class games in which he has picked up 34 wickets at an average of only 13.14.
24-year-old Shirzad, meanwhile, is a left-armed pacer who has already played one ODI and two T20s for Afghanistan. The fast-bowler has an experience of 15 first-class matches where he has picked up 49 wickets at an average of 25.38.
“Both Zahir Khan and Sayed Shirzad have very good bowling records in First-class cricket and have played in the ICC Intercontinental Cup for Afghanistan,” Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief selector Dawlat Ahmadzai said.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board Selection Committee added chinaman bowler Zahir Khan Pakteen and medium fast bowler Sayed Ahmad Shirzad to Afghanistan’s Test squad for the upcoming only Test match against @Irelandcricket in Dehradun.— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) March 12, 2019
More details at: https://t.co/A0LjghMUpM pic.twitter.com/p5V5MZJZaG
“We were awaiting Zahir’s fitness report when announcing the initial 14-member Test squad and now that he is fully fit, we have decided to add him to the squad.
“Sayed Shirzad is added as an additional pacer in the squad to have another bowling option if needed.”
The one-off Test between Afghanistan and Ireland will get under way at Dehradun on Friday. It is the second Test match for both sides who gained full ICC membership last year and the first official one at ‘home’ for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan had taken on India at Bengaluru in their debut Test last year while Ireland had hosted Pakistan in Dublin for their red-ball bow.
Afghanistan’s 16-member squad:
Asghar Afghan(captain), Mohammad Shahzad (wicket-keeper), Ihsanullah Janat, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ikram Alikhail, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Wafadar Momand, Yamin Ahmadzai, Sharafudin Ashraf, Waqar Salamkhail, Zahir Khan and Sayed Shirzad.
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