LAHORE - Saeed Ajmal has failed to regain his place in the 15-man squad announced on Wednesday while Fawad Alam and Junaid Khan were recalled for the three-match Test series against England starting from October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Ajmal, who turns 38 next month, has faced a tough time since returning to cricket from a five-month suspension after his bowling action was found to be illegal by the International Cricket Council last year. Since making his comeback with a remodelled action against Bangladesh in April, he has shown little of the form that brought him 24 wickets during Pakistan's 3-0 whitewash over the then world number one Test team England in the UAE three years ago.

Fawad, 29, whose Test career was abruptly halted after playing just three Tests, was the only surprise selection in the 15-member squad as the national selectors also recalled left-arm pacer Junaid Khan. Junaid had last played in Bangladesh earlier this year.

Fawad, who toured New Zealand in November 2009, has been rewarded for a string of consistent scoring in domestic first class and one-day matches and he was also in prime form in the just concluded national T20 championship in Rawalpindi.

Although Fawad had represented Pakistan in the ODIs against Bangladesh in Arpil, the recall to the Test side is a dream-come-true for the Karachi-born player. “I just want to now perform and vindicate my selection if I get a chance in the Test matches,” said the middle-order batsman, who scored a century on debut against Sri Lanka.”

The rest of the Test squad contained no surprises with veteran Misbah-ul-Haq retained as captain while the Pakistani selectors have decided to include three specialist spinners for the three Test series starting October 13 in Abu Dhabi.

While leg-spinner Yasir Shah and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar have been named straightaway in the 15-member squad, chief selector Haroon Rasheed said the two young left-arm spinners Muhammad Asghar and Zafar Gohar would compete for the 16th place in the squad. “They will play in the side matches against England in Sharjah and whoever performs and impresses will join the Test squad as the 16th player,” he said.

Asghar and Gohar are yet to represent Pakistan at the senior level although the latter has played for the Pakistan under-19 squad in the World Cup. England have also included three spinners in their Test line-up despite packing their outfit with their experienced pace battery.

But compared to the Pakistan squad, which has specialist slow bowlers, England have been forced to opt for all-rounders Moeen Ali and Zafar Ansari and leg-spinner Adil Rashid — all three of Pakistani origin. The first of the three Tests starts in Abu Dhabi from October 13. Chief selector Haroon Rasheed said a 16th member would be added to the squad later. "In the light of captain Misbah-ul-Haq's recommendations, we have kept the options open for the 16th player in the Test squad against England, picking up two left-arm spin bowlers namely Zafar Gohar and Mohammad Asghar for the brace of practice games and whoever amongst the two performs well would be added to the Test squad," he said.

TEST SQUAD: M Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Shaan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Younus Khan, Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Rahat Ali and Zafar Gohar/M Asghar.