‘No one will change Babar’s position’: Shan Masood clarifies ahead of Australia Tour

Pakistan will play a three-match Test series against the Aussies

By Web Desk
November 29, 2023
Shan Masood (R) said that he has a very good relationship with Babar Azam (L). — AFP

Pakistan’s newly-appointed Test skipper Shan Masood held a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the team’s departure for Australia where he confirmed that star batter Babar Azam’s playing position will not be changed.

Pakistan will play a three-match Test series in Australia including a match against Prime Minister XI and Shan is confident that everyone in the team will give their best.

Shan, who has captained in Pakistan Super League (PSL) and county cricket in England, confirmed that Babar’s batting position will not be changed during the Test tour.

Babar Azam is our best batter and we won't want to change his position, which is number four spot,” Shan said during the presser. “I have had a very good relationship with Babar Azam. We played cricket for Islamabad and won matches for them, we understand each other very well.”

“Our Test team has been a settled unit. The opening combination of Imam ul Haq and Abdullah Shafique has been representing Pakistan for more than a year now. They have given a lot of performances. After the retirement of Azhar Ali, I have mostly played at number three spot in domestic and international cricket. This is the top three in our plans,”

The left-handed batter also addressed the questions of having two wicketkeepers in Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed where he stated that the latter is well-settled as he featured in the latest Test series.

“Sarfaraz Ahmed did really well in the home Test series against New Zealand and he is our settled keeper, while Mohammad Rizwan was excellent in the Tests in Australia in 2019. Rizwan can play as a batter too and we will see what combination to go with in Australia.

“Sarfaraz and I have played cricket for the same club in Karachi. He is one of the most successful captains in Pakistan, and he changed the way we played Test cricket and its mindset. Sarfaraz, Babar and Rizwan are those we can take inspiration from and we can use their experience,” he added.

Shan then talked about how important Haris Rauf could’ve been in Australia where extra pace is always required while citing England’s Mark Wood’s example who is one of the fastest bowlers in the world.

“We wished for Haris Rauf to be with us in Australia for the Test series, Mark Wood did well there and we needed extra pace which he possesses but since he is not available now, we cannot do much and have to move on,” he added.