Hafeez, Talha return to Pakistan squad for Sri Lanka Tests

In-form batsman Mohammad Hafeez and forgotten paceman Mohammad Talha Thursday returned to Pakistan's 15-man squad for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka starting in the United Arab Emirates next week.

Hafeez was discarded from the Test team for the two-match series against South Africa in October after a run of poor scores in the year.

But the 33-year-old has scored three hundreds in the ongoing five-match one-day series to regain his place in the Test squad.

Pakistan lead the series 3-1, with the fifth and final match in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The first Test against Sri Lanka starts in Abu Dhabi on December 31. The second Test will be in Dubai (January 8-12) and the third in Sharjah (January 16-20).

Also returning to the Test squad is 25-year-old right-arm paceman Talha, whose only Test in 2009 ended abruptly after a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.

Spearhead Umar Gul was also included after he impressed with his form and fitness in the ongoing one-day series, taking three wickets each in the third and fourth one-dayer.

Gul suffered a knee injury during the South Africa tour in March this year which required surgery.

Lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan was not considered after he fractured his hip in the series against South Africa in the UAE last month. He has still not regained full fitness.

Squad: Misbah-ul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Adnan Akmal, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Umar Gul, Rahat Ali, Muhammad Talha.