Afghanistan have strengthened their bowling arsenal for their first 'home' Test - against Ireland on March 15 - by adding left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan and left-arm seam bowler Sayed Shirzad to the squad.
Zahir was initially not selected for the Test since the ACB was awaiting his fitness report. But now that Zahir has been declared fit, he will join the team in Dehradun. He has an outstanding first-class record, with 34 wickets in seven matches, at an average of 13.14. The 24-year-old Shirzad has played 15 first-class games, taking 49 wickets - including four five-wicket hauls - 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's chief selector Dawlat Ahmadzai said while announcing the update. "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."
It will be Afghanistan's second Test in India but will be designated as their first home game. For their opponents Ireland, it will be their first away Test, having made their debut against Pakistan in Dublin last year.
Afghanistan squad: Asghar Afghan (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 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, Sayed Shirzad.