Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed made a comeback into the national team as the newly appointed chief selector announced the 18-member squad for the Test series in Australia scheduled from December 14, 2023, to January 7, 2024.
“The squad has been assembled keeping in mind the challenging Australian conditions. We have kept the pitches in mind and added more pace bowling resources to the team to ensure that the management can be flexible with the team combinations in all three Test matches,” Riaz said on Monday.
Shan Masood will lead the team which will also include Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Aamir Jamal, Waseem Jr., Nauman Ali, , Abrar Ahmed, and Salman Agha.
Pace bowler Haris Rauf will not be available for the series.
Opening batter Saim Ayub has earned his maiden call-up to the Test team after an impressive run in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24.
“Saim Ayub has been added to the squad after the extraordinary domestic season he has had this year. He has impressed with the bat during the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and Pakistan Cup, pushing the case for his selection. His inclusion will strengthen our solid batting line-up,” the chief selector said.
Right-arm fast bowler Khurram Shahzad has also been awarded his maiden Test call-up, on the back of a successful domestic season thus far. The 23-year-old was the highest wicket-taker of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24 with 36 wickets in eight matches.
Pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who last appeared in Tests for Pakistan during England’s tour of Pakistan in late 2022, Mir Hamza, and Mohammad Wasim Jnr are making a return to the squad as well.
The squad will assemble in Rawalpindi on November 22 for a training camp ahead of the tour.
The camp is scheduled from November 23 to 28 at Pindi Cricket Stadium. The team will fly out on November 30 from Lahore.
Some additional players have also been invited to feature in the training camp. The players called for the camp are Arshad Iqbal, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usama Mir and Usman Qadir.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi.