Image courtesy of: Pakistan Super League
Pakistan dropped Sarfaraz Ahmed, recalled a few players and drafted in numerous uncapped talents as they unveiled their Test and Twenty20 squads for the upcoming tour of Australia.
It was already known that Sarfaraz would be dropped as it was confirmed when he was sacked as Test and Twenty20 captain on Friday.
Uncapped 19-year-old seamer Muhammad Musa has been included in both squads, while 16-year-old pace bowling sensation Naseem Shah found a place in the Test side, which will be captained by Azhar Ali.
Khushdil Shah and Usman Qadir, son of the late Abdul Qadir, were both called up to the Twenty20 team, which will be led by Babar Azam.
Some of the other surprises included left-arm seamer Mohammad Irfan being recalled for the Twenty20 series, and Imran Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Kashif Bhatti being picked for the Test series. Iftikhar is also part of the Twenty20 team.
With Sarfaraz having been dropped, Mohammad Rizwan has taken his place behind the stumps for both the Twenty20 and Test series.
“A series to Australia has always been a challenge for Pakistan, and is very important, too,” Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Being a player, it was always our wish to go to Australia and perform well, and win games and series there. because Australia, England and South Africa are places where it is incredibly difficult to win, and when you do, the world sits up and takes notice. We want to play competitive, aggressive, fearless cricket there, because this is the only way to beat them at home.
“The team we have selected has been chosen with that in mind, and we have a number of surprise packages in our team that we feel confident will be able to challenge Australia. Be that T20Is or Test cricket, you will see young, exciting players. My message is clear: we want youngsters to get a chance, we believe in them and they are our future. If you go to Australia and want to compete, you have to have firepower in the fast-bowling department. We aren’t just going to compete, we are going to win, and we are confident these boys will perform.”
Pakistan’s tour of Australia will consist of three Twenty20 Internationals from November 3 to 8, and two Tests from November 21 to December 3.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Muhammad Musa, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz
Pakistan’s Test Squad: Azhar Ali (capt), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Muhammad Musa, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah