Pakistan have announced their 18-member squad for the upcoming Australia tour. The two teams are scheduled to lock horns in three Test matches starting from December 14 in Perth while Pakistan will also play a four-day arm-up game against Prime Ministers XI from December 6 in Canberra.
Shan Masood will lead Pakistan for the first time after Babar Azam stepped down as captain from all formats post the World Cup debacle. Opening batter Saim Ayub, and pacer Khurram Shahzad have earned Test call-ups and are also in-line for their debuts in the format. Interestingly, fast bowler Haris Rauf refused to feature in Tests according to chief selector Wahab Riaz who confirmed the development at the press conference on Monday (November 20).
Coming back to Ayub, the left-hander has played 8 T20Is for Pakistan already but comes into the Test side on the back of 1069 runs in first class cricket at an average of 46.47. Moreover, he smashed 203 and 109 runs in the most recent game played in October. On the other hand, Shahzad has also been rewarded for his excellent show in Quaid–e-Azam trophy as he is the top wicke-taker with 36 scalps to his name.
Meanwhile, apart from Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah is still unavailable to play as he is recovering from injury sustained in the Asia Cup. Among other pace bowlers selected, Mir Hamza is making a comeback too having picked 32 wickets in first-class cricket this season while Faheem Ashraf is also back in the set up.
Pakistan Test squad for Australia tour: Shan Masood (capt), Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam ul Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Nauman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi
Pakistan tour of Australia schedule:
December 6 – December 9: Prime Ministers XI vs Pakistan – 4 day warm-up match in Canberra
December 14- December 18: Australia vs Pakistan – 1st Test in Perth
December 26 – December 30: Australia vs Pakistan – 2nd Test in Melbourne
January 3 – January 7: Australia vs Pakistan – 3rd Test in Sydney