Pak vs Aus: Shan Masood opens up about Sarfaraz Ahmed’s exclusion from second Test

The match will begin tomorrow in Melbourne

By Web Desk
December 25, 2023
Pakistan´s Sarfaraz Ahmed catches Australia´s Marnus Labuschagne shot during day three of the first Test cricket match between Australia and Pakistan in Perth on December 16, 2023. - AFP 

Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood opened up on Monday about the exclusion of wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed for the second Test against Australia.

Sarfaraz, who could only score seven runs in the first Test, has been replaced by Mohammad Rizwan.

Speaking ahead of the Boxing Day Test, Masood said that it would be wrong to say that Sarfaraz has been “dropped”.

"We wanted to set a precedent where we wanted to reward people who have been playing red-ball consistently in domestic cricket over the past few years," Masood said during a press conference.

"You saw that with the selection of Khurram Shahzad and Aamer Jamal even though a lot of people felt it was quite risky putting two debutants out there. I think they handled themselves well and we have to give them credit because their first outing in Australia was quite decent. The reason to play Sarfaraz was pretty much the same. People go back to stats and Rizwan averages very well in SENA. Firstly, there's no competition between the two. They're equally important to the team. Any competition they have is healthy competition. We know what Rizwan has done but we gave Sarfaraz the benefit because he averaged 56.50 on his last tour here in 2016. Yes, that's been quite a while but he's also played red ball consistently in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy in the last few years.

"Rizwan just came from the World Cup, a lot of white ball cricket. And he also had a gap in red-ball cricket since Sarfaraz took over from him for the New Zealand series. Sarfaraz had an outstanding performance there and Rizwan hadn't played a lot of red-ball cricket. So, there was a method to it. He's been there, he played red-ball cricket. Karachi had a very good season where he was the tournament's MVP, and that allowed us to get a player like Rizwan into shape. If I had it my way, I'd ideally like both to play but that's not possible. Now we think Rizwan is ready and we can give Saifi that little bit of break to recuperate and come back.”

Masood, who captained Pakistan for the first time in Perth, also shed light on his side’s loss during the opening Test.

"One Test is never a fair assessment," he said. "You need time. You need a bit more time. You've already got a squad that's been playing Test cricket for a while. You have to look at the domestic structure and the players available for red-ball cricket. A lot of things you need before you can sort of force that way of playing.

"You need players to buy in. We want to give players ample opportunity to buy into the way we want to play. There are some things that we've said from the outside that we want to play a more attractive brand of Test cricket. We did that in Sri Lanka. We got some results as well. The challenge now is to do it against the best teams in world cricket."

Pakistan squad for second Test

Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi (vc), Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamir Jamal, Sajid Khan


    عدنان حنیف commented 6 months ago

    شان مسعود کی اپنی پرفارمنس سب سے خراب ہے یہ خود ٹیم سے باہر ہونا چاہیے اسے کپتان بنایا ہوا ہے

      Ali commented 6 months ago

      @Adnan Hanif, how much cricket you have played bro for your expert opinion on Shaan Masood

    Farrukh commented 6 months ago

    Salam to all, bhai sirf sarfaraz bhai ne hi kharab khelaa hai kia.baaki to sub ne bohat accha khelaa..

    Wasim Jr should play instead of Hassan Ali commented 6 months ago

    Wasim Jr should Play instead of Hassan Ali