Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Haris Rauf, Shan Masood picked for Australia Tests. Babar Azam will lead Pakistan's Test side
Babar Azam will lead Pakistan's Test side
Pakistan have called up Haris Rauf and brought back Shan Masood, naming them in their 16-man squad for the home Tests against Australia, starting in Rawalpindi on March 4.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood
Reserves: Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah
Rauf, who was part of the Test squad in the series against South Africa and Zimbabwe last year, replaces off-spinner Bilal Asif in the squad. Asif was part of Pakistan's squad for the tour of Bangladesh but did not get a game there. His last Test outing remains the one against New Zealand in 2018.
Masood has been brought back to fill the void left by Abid Ali, who is still in his rehabilitation process after being diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome. Interestingly, Yasir Shah finds a place in the five-man reserves, alongside the likes of Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas. Yasir last played a Test in August 2021, in West Indies.
“We have opted for consistency for the important home series against Australia and changes have only been made where absolutely necessary,” Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said. “This is to give the boys confidence, reward them for their impressive performances in the longer version of the game in 2021 and continue to build the side for the future.
“These are the best available, most talented and in-form players in the domestic circuit. I am confident they will put up an impressive performance against a formidable Australia side.”
The PCB also confirmed that former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq will carry on as head coach for another 12 months, while Shaun Tait has also been appointed as fast bowling coach for the same period. Mohammad Yousuf meanwhile will serve as batting coach for the Australia series.