Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the 16-man squad for the three-match series against Australia, starting from March 4. On February 8, Cricket Australia (CA) had announced the 18-man squad for the series. The Aussies are touring Pakistan for the first time since 1998. In that series, the Mark Taylor-led side beat the Pakistan by 1-0 in the three-match series.
Most of the players from Pakistan’s last series against Bangladesh have been retained. A notable exclusion from the team is opening batter Abid Ali, who underwent angioplasty surgery two months ago, and is out of action since then. Another player who has been left out is all-rounder Bilal Asif. Shan Masood has made his comeback after being out of favor for one year.
Pacer Haris Rauf has been called to the team. He has played eight ODIs and 34 T20Is but is yet to earn his Test cap. Talking about the reserves, former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has been included in the reserves alongside leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, M Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood
Reserves: Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said that the selection committee has opted for consistent performers for an important series against Australia.
“We have opted for consistency for the important home series against Australia and changes have only been made where absolutely necessary. This is to give the boys confidence, reward them for their impressive performances in the longer version of the game in 2021 and continue to build the side for the future.