- Web Desk
- 1 Hour ago
Masood leads Pakistan as Test squad revealed for Australia series
- Web Desk
- Nov 20, 2023
LAHORE: Pakistan has unveiled its 18-member squad for the upcoming series against Australia commencing on December 14, with Shan Masood assuming captaincy from Babar Azam.
The announcement was made by Chief Selector Wahab Riaz at a press conference in Lahore.
Left-handed opener Saim Ayub and right-arm fast bowler Khurram Shahzad secure maiden Test call-ups for the three-match series under the ongoing World Test Championship.
Both players earned their spots through stellar performances in the domestic circuit. Ayub notched up 553 runs in four matches in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, including three centuries, while Shahzad emerged as the leading wicket-taker with 36 wickets in eight matches.
Pacer Mohammad Wasim is a key weapon in the Pakistan attack at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf makes a return to Test cricket after nearly a year, joining pacers Mir Hamza and Mohammad Wasim in their comebacks.
Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Newly-appointed Chief Selector Wahab Riaz commented on the squad, stating, “The team has been selected with a focus on the challenging Australian conditions. We’ve bolstered the pace bowling resources to allow flexibility in team combinations for all three Test matches.”
He highlighted Saim Ayub’s inclusion due to his exceptional domestic season, emphasizing that Ayub’s batting prowess strengthens the solid lineup. Riaz expressed optimism, saying, “We hope that the team can carry this momentum ahead in Australia.”
The away Test series signals a new era for Pakistan cricket, with changes following the recent ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, including Babar stepping down from captaincy. Under his leadership, Pakistan leads the World Test Championship standings with 24 points (100% point percentage) after a 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka. Australia, the newly-crowned ODI World Cup Champions, are third in the standings with a point percentage of 30 after the drawn Ashes series.