Former Australian coach questions Rizwan's exclusion from playing XI for Perth Test

Pakistan opted to select senior wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed in the playing XI

By Web Desk
December 14, 2023
Mohammad Rizwan - AFP

The Test series between Pakistan and Australia has started in Perth with Australia opting to bat first.

The home side reached 346-5 at stumps on day one with Mitchell Marsh (15) and Alex Carey (14) on the crease.

Pakistan opted to select senior wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed in the playing XI over Mohammad Rizwan, who is a regular in limited-overs cricket.

Sarfaraz took two catches behind the stumps but missed a stumping of David Warner when he was on 141.

Meanwhile, Rizwan took the opportunity and had a keeping session at the end of the day's play. Australian journalist Bharat Sundaresan shared a post on X (formerly Twitter) about Rizwan having a session while mentioning that most Pakistan cricket fans think he should be part of the side.

Darren Lehmann, who coached Australia from 2013-2018, responded to Sundaresan's post and also questioned Rizwan's exclusion. "Why is he not," Lehmann wrote.

Remember, Rizwan was sidelined last year from Test after poor performances with the bat in Test cricket. Sarfaraz returned to the side after a gap of almost four years in the home series against New Zealand. The former captain is the preferred choice in Pakistan's Test team at the moment.

Regarding the game, opener Warner starred on the opening day. The 37-year-old Warner, in his 110th Test, responded in typical swashbuckling fashion, scoring 164 runs while hitting 16 fours and four sixes in his 211-ball knock.

After struggling to pick up wickets in the first two sessions, Pakistan bowlers improved considerably to claim three wickets in the post-tea session.

Aamer Jamal claimed two wickets, dismissing Warner and a dangerous-looking Travis Head (40).

Steve Smith was sent back to the hut after scoring 31 runs by Khurram Shahzad.


Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Aamer Jamal, Khurram Shahzad

Series schedule

First Test: December 14-18, Perth

Second Test: December 26-30, Melbourne

Third Test: January 3-7, Sydney 


    Sherin Bakhsh commented 6 months ago

    The ridiculous appointment of Sarfaraz instead of Rizwan is baffling. What r the selectors doing? Sarfaraz needs to retire