Pakistan announces Test, T20 squads for Australia tour
LAHORE (92 News) – Pakistan on Monday named Test and T20 squads for the upcoming Australia tour, bringing back uncapped opener Abid Ali and experienced left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti in the Test team.
According to the PCB press release, it is decided to unleash their next generation of pace sensations Musa Khan and Naseem Shah, along with teenage Shaheen Shah Afridi, in Australia by naming the trio in the 16-man squad for next month’s World Test Championship fixtures.
Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed and fast-bowler Imran Khan Senior were also recalled for World Test Championship matches. Wicket-keeper Muhammad Rizwan replaced former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed in the team.
Musa Khan was included in the T20I side along with uncapped middle-order batsman Khushdil Shah and wrist spinner Usman Qadir, and lanky fast bowler Mohammad Irfan made a comeback as well in the squad for Australia tour.
Chief Selector and Head Coach Misbahul Haq announced the squad at a press conference in Lahore. Hasan Ali was ruled out of the tour due to back injury while Shaheen Shah Afridi named only for Tests after injury comeback.
“Our aim is to move up the Test rankings and begin the Test Championship strong. There is a need to play a different brand of cricket, the balance of the squads is reflective of us having options to play aggressive, attacking cricket” said Misbah while announcing the squad.
“I am pretty sure these two lads will surprise a lot of people with their pace, controlled swing and ability to bowl long spells at a consistent speed.
“Abbas’s calibre and prowess is very well documented, while Shaheen Shah Afridi has already shown the world that he is a star in the making. Imran Khan Senior has been drafted in the side as he provides backup experience with Abbas and he is one of the most effective exponents of the new ball, while he can regularly bowl at a good pace.
“Our Test batting is experienced, talented and pretty settled, so, we have not tweaked it much, except including prolific Abid Ali in place of Fakhar Zaman and adding Iftikhar Ahmed, who can also bowl off-spin. We have a strong batting line that we expect to perform in the two Tests.
“For the T20Is, Mohammad Irfan has been rewarded for the form he has shown recently. Based on horses for courses and his form, the Australian conditions will present Irfan with the opportunity to excel. This selection has also been made while looking at next year’s ICC T20 World Cup, which will be played in Australia. If we can successfully manage his workload, then he can be a valuable asset for us in next global event.
Babar Azam (captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, and Wahab Riaz.
Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, and Yasir Shah.