The cricket extravaganza is set to kick off at the iconic Perth Stadium on December 14th, heralding a historic moment as Pakistan gears up to face Australia in a thrilling three-match series lasting from December 14, 2023, to January 7, 2024.
Wahab Riaz’s Debut Decision: The 18-Member Test Squad
In a groundbreaking move, Chief Selector Wahab Riaz has revealed the 18-member Pakistan Test squad for the highly-anticipated tour Down Under. This announcement marks Wahab’s inaugural task since assuming leadership of the national men’s selection committee just last week.
Shan Masood Takes the Helm: New Test Captain
Stepping into the shoes of leadership, Shan Masood embarks on his maiden assignment as the Test captain. Recently appointed as Pakistan’s skipper for the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle, Masood inherits the role from Babar Azam, who passed on the mantle just a week ago.
Saim Ayub’s Spectacular Ascent: A Star is Born
In a captivating turn of events, left-handed opener Saim Ayub secures his first call-up to the Test team. The 22-year-old’s stellar performance in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, amassing 553 runs in four matches for Karachi Whites, has earned him a well-deserved spot. Ayub’s highlight reel includes three centuries, culminating in a match-winning double century against Faisalabad in the tournament’s final. His cricket prowess extends to the Pakistan Cup, where he clinched the title of the tournament’s best batter, emerging as the highest run-scorer.
Khurram Shahzad: A Fast Bowling Sensation Emerges
The spotlight also shines on right-arm fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, securing his maiden Test call-up after a stellar domestic season. The 23-year-old claimed the title of the highest wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, boasting an impressive 36 wickets in eight matches at an average of 20.31. Shahzad continued his dominance in the Pakistan Cup, securing 13 wickets at a remarkable average of 16.62.
The Return of Faheem Ashraf: Adding All-Round Firepower
Making a triumphant return to the Test squad is pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. Last seen during England’s tour of Pakistan in late 2022, Ashraf brings a wealth of experience and all-round prowess to the team.
Mir Hamza and Mohammad Wasim Jnr: A Welcome Comeback
Left-arm pacer Mir Hamza, with 32 wickets at an average of 20.88 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, and right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim Jnr make a comeback to the squad. Both were integral parts of Pakistan’s squad during New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan from December 2022 to January 2023.
Pakistan Squad for Australia Tests: A Powerhouse of Talent
The formidable Pakistan squad for the Australia Tests is as follows:
- Captain: Shan Masood
- Aamir Jamal
- Abdullah Shafique
- Abrar Ahmed
- Babar Azam
- Faheem Ashraf
- Hasan Ali
- Khurram Shahzad
- Mir Hamza
- Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
- Mohammad Wasim Jnr
- Noman Ali
- Saim Ayub
- Salman Ali Agha
- Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk)
- Saud Shakeel
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
Australia Tour Schedule: Mark Your Calendars
- Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra
- 1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium
- 2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- 3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
In the cricketing arena, as the stage is set and the players assemble, anticipation builds for a showdown that promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Stay tuned as Pakistan’s Test squad aims to make history on Australian soil.