Fast bowler Haris Rauf has withdrawn from the Pakistan team for the test tour of Australia, leading to the inclusion of three new players in the squad.
Rauf’s Withdrawal and New Inclusions
Fast bowler Haris Rauf has decided to pull out of the Pakistan team for the upcoming test tour of Australia. This has resulted in the inclusion of three uncapped players – Saim Ayub, Khurram Shahzad, and Amir Jamal – in the 18-member squad. The newly appointed chief selector, Wahab Riaz, expressed that Rauf initially confirmed his availability for the upcoming test matches, but later changed his mind due to concerns about fitness and workload.
Injuries and Squad Changes
In addition to Rauf’s withdrawal, three front-line fast bowlers – Naseem Shah, Ihsanullah, and Mohammad Hasnain – have been ruled out of the tour due to injuries. The selectors have consequently named 23-year-old fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, along with experienced bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali. Amir Jamal, who has previous experience in T20s against England, has been included in the squad as a seam-bowling allrounder.
Revamped National Team
Following an early exit from the Cricket World Cup in India, Pakistan has made significant changes to its national team. This includes Babar Azam stepping down from the captaincy and left-handed opening batter Shan Masood being appointed as the test side captain until the end of the World Test Championship cycle of 2023-25. The team will face the challenging task of playing in Australian conditions, with the squad being tailored to suit the pitches in Australia.
Squad and Preparation
The 18-member squad for the test tour of Australia includes notable players such as Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Afridi. The team will have a training camp in Rawalpindi before departing for Australia from Lahore on November 30. The inclusion of more pace bowling resources in the team aims to provide flexibility with team combinations, considering the Australian pitches.