Fawad Alam's comeback in Pakistan's Test playing XI didn't go as planned as the southpaw departed for a duck in the first innings of the second Test match in Southampton. Fawad got his chance in the playing XI after missing 88 Test matches in the span of 3911 days.
Fawad came to bat at no. 6 and faced only four balls before getting dismissed by Chris Woakes. He replaced Shadab Khan in playing XI from the first Test.
In the rain-affected opening day, Pakistan struggled against the English pacers as they lost five wickets for 126 in 45.4 overs when rain stopped play with Babar Azam 25 not out and Mohammad Rizwan 4 not out at the crease. Abid Ali was the only Pakistan batsman, who looked comfortable against the fierce pace attack as he scored 60 runs before edging Sam Curran's delivery to Rory Burns at slip.
Meanwhile, the 88 Tests gap is the 7th longest between two matches in the red-ball cricket. While it is the second-longest gap for a Pakistan cricketer as Younis Ahmed tops the list with 104 Tests gap between 1969-1987.
Fawad, who has been scoring consistently well in the domestic cricket for Pakistan, has played only three matches before the Southampton Test. He has scored 250 runs at an average of 41.66. He also scored a century on debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Earlier, before the match, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram opined for Fawad's inclusion in the second Test.
"In the next match, you won't find a turning wicket," Akram told Samaa TV. "You will play with one spinner and you will have to play with an extra batsman.
"You need a middle-order batsman and Fawad Alam is the one. He is also a left-hander, so the team can have a left-right combination.
"He has an average of 56 in first-class cricket, has a hundred on Test debut, so you will have to give him a chance. So if I was the captain, I would include him in the middle order," he added.
All eyes will be on Fawad Alam if he gets the chance to bat in the second innings of his comeback Test.