Pakistan’s squad for the tour of Australia was announced earlier today. Chief Selector Wahab Riaz named an 18-man squad for the three-match Test Series in Australia in December-January 2023-24. The squad saw a few new faces and a few old members coming back.
Following are some of the surprises that were observed in the squad.
Axing Muhammad Hurraira
The emerging talent Muhammad Hurraira was dropped from the Test Squad without getting a chance to play. Huraira was part of the Pakistan squad for the tour of Sri Lanka where Pakistan whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0. However, Hurraira didn’t get a chance in any game and for the upcoming Australia tour he wasn’t picked.
It is pertinent to mention that he was the top run-getter of the 2021 as well as the 2022 edition of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. This year, he was quite average with the bat in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy but dropping him from the national squad without giving a chance to play can ruin the confidence of the young man.
The return of Mohammad Wasim Jnr
Among the returning players, Mohammad Wasim Jnr’s name is also questionable. Mohammad Wasim Jnr played his last Test against New Zealand in December 2022. In two matches that he has played in his Test career, he has taken only two wickets at an average of 115. It is hard to understand how he got a direct entry in the Test Squad as he didn’t feature in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy this year either. His World Cup campaign was quite decent but it wasn’t that extraordinary that he could earn a direct spot in the Test Squad. Wasim Jnr managed to find a space in the squad even when Faheem Ashraf and Aamer Jamal were already in the squad.
The squad had some positives too as domestic performers like Khurram Shahzad, Saim Ayub and Mir Hamza were rewarded.
It will be tough to expect too much from them as Australia tour is usually quiet challenging but fans have high hopes from the domestic performers that they will deliver.
The Pakistan tour of Australia kicks-off from December 6, 2023, when Pakistan will face Prime-Minister’s XI in a four-day warm-up game. Afterwards, the first Test will begin on December 14 at Perth.
Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafiq, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Nauman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed
Schedule of Pakistan’s Test tour of Australia
First Test: December 14-18, Perth Stadium
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG
Third Test: January 3-7, SCG