Pak vs Aus: Wicketkeeper selection for Melbourne Test becomes a challenge

Concerns have been raised within the management about the form and fitness of former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed

December 24, 2023
The second Test starts on December 26 - PCB

KARACHI: The decision regarding the wicketkeeper for the upcoming second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has posed a challenge for the Pakistan team management, sources told

Concerns have been raised within the management about the form and fitness of former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Despite deliberations, a decision on the wicketkeeper selection for the Boxing Day Test, scheduled to commence on December 26 remains elusive.

Sarfaraz Ahmed managed to score 3 and 4 runs in the Perth Test. Prior to the Melbourne Test, he played innings of 35 and 10 runs in a two-day match.

In contrast, wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan demonstrated his batting skills by scoring an impressive 50 runs in the first innings of the two-day match.

Amidst the decision-making process, team management seems reluctant to opt for Sarfaraz as a wicketkeeper and Rizwan solely as a batter.

If Rizwan is chosen to play in the Melbourne Test, it is anticipated that Sarfaraz Ahmed will be left out of the playing XI.

Remember, Pakistan have facing a selection dilemma in the bowling department as well. Spinner Noman Ali was ruled out of the three-Test match series after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis.

The national selection committee, led by Wahab Riaz, named all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz as the replacement.

Earlier, pacer Khurram Shahzad was also ruled out of the remaining Tests of the series due to a stress fracture in his left 10th rib, as well as an abdominal muscle tear. The right-armer made his debut during the Perth Test and claimed five wickets during the match.

PCB also confirmed mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed will not participate in the Melbourne Test.

Abrar bowled a total of 27 overs during the four-day practice match against the PM XI where he also picked up a wicket. At the end of the third day, he complained about feeling some discomfort in his right leg for which the MRI was done.

Off-spinner Sajid Khan was called up as Abrar’s replacement before the first Test, which Pakistan lost.

Pakistan's squad for second Test

Shan Masood (captain), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Saim Ayub, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Aamir Jamal, Sajid Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza


    Where Muhammad rizwan in squad as you mentioned commented 6 months ago

    Where is Muhammad rizwan In squad as you mentioned.