Sarfaraz Ahmed, as expected, has been dropped from the Pakistan test squad after being removed as captain two days back. Apart from Sarfaraz, some of the other players have been omitted from the squad as well.
The most notable omission is Fakhar Zaman who had miserably failed with the bat opening the innings in South Africa.
Imam-ul-Haq, another opener who hadn’t scored too many runs in the test series against South Africa, has however been retained in the squad. His opening partner in Australia will most likely be Shan Masood, while Abid Ali has been selected as the reserve opener.
Apart from Fakhar, the leg spinner Shadab Khan has been left out as well. Kashif Bhatti, the left arm spinner, is going to be the understudy of Yasir Shah who will be the first choice spinner for Pakistan.
Sarfaraz has been replaced by Mohammed Rizwan who has scored plenty of runs both for his provincial side as well as for the “A” team of Pakistan.
As far as the fast bowling department is concerned, Mohammed Amir has already announced his retirement from test cricket and Wahab Riaz has said that he wants to focus only on the white ball formats in the near future. So, those two were always going to be excluded.
Pakistan have opted for the young fast bowler Naseem Shah who has caught a lot of eyes in the domestic cricket of Pakistan and has impressed many former cricketers. Hasan Ali is still injured, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, who had suffered Dengue recently, is back in the squad after complete recovery.
Here is the squad –
Azhar Ali (C), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.