The Test Tour of Australia is fast approaching as the Pakistan team gears up for three matches in Australia starting on 14th December 2023. The squad for the Test Series was announced on 20th November 2023.
Several Pakistani players are on the brink of significant milestones in Test cricket, with expectations high that they will reach these milestones during the Australia Test series. Here are the records Pakistan players can achieve.
Saud Shakeel, a left-handed middle-order batter, has left a remarkable impression in Test cricket early in his career. With six half-centuries and two centuries in seven Tests, including a double ton, his record is exceptional for someone in the early stages of their international career.
Saud Shakeel is nearing the milestone of 1000 Test runs, having scored 875 runs in seven Tests and 13 innings. Vinod Kambli holds the record as the fastest Asian to reach 1000 Test runs, achieved in just 14 innings. Saud Shakeel needs 125 runs in his next Test innings to match that record, a challenging but achievable feat given his talent.
Former captain and ace batter Babar Azam is a mere 228 runs away from the 4000-run landmark in Test Cricket, currently standing at 3772 runs. With an average of 47.74, he is also the best-ranked Pakistani batter in Test Cricket. Fans anticipate Babar's impressive performance now that he is free from captaincy pressures. Scoring 228 runs in this series would place him among the top 12 batters of Pakistan to reach the 4000-run landmark in Test Cricket.
Babar Azam is also nearing another milestone of scoring 13000 runs in International Cricket, requiring just 14 more runs to become the fifth Pakistani batter with 13000 or more runs in international cricket. Achieving this milestone will place him alongside the legendary club of Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, and Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali is also edging towards a milestone with the ball. With 47 Test wickets to his name, he needs three more wickets to join the prestigious 50 Test Wickets club, becoming only the fifth left-arm spinner of Pakistan to achieve this feat and the 13th left-arm bowler overall from Pakistan to pick 50 or more Test wickets.
Sarfaraz Ahmed stands as one of the most successful wicket-keeper batters in Pakistan. He holds the record for scoring the most runs as a wicket-keeper for Pakistan in Test Cricket. Although Kamran Akmal leads with six centuries, Sarfaraz Ahmed is closing in with four Test Centuries. A couple more hundreds would see him equal the record for the most centuries as a wicketkeeper-batter for Pakistan in Tests.
Despite seeming somewhat unrealistic to some, Sarfaraz Ahmed's recent exceptional form is noteworthy. The veteran wicket-keeper batter scored 697 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy at an average of 99, finishing as the tournament's second-best batsman. With this form in mind, he stands a good chance of securing a couple of centuries against Australia.
Pakistan’s Test Tour of Australia commences on 14th December 2023, with the three Test matches scheduled in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney.