In a press conference held on Monday, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB)‘s recently appointed chief selector, Wahab Riaz, revealed the 18-member Test squad for the upcoming tour of Australia. The series, set to take place from December 14, 2023, to January 7, 2024, marks Wahab’s inaugural task since assuming the role of the national men’s selection committee head last week.

Young talents earn maiden call-ups

Shan Masood will be leading Pakistan in the Test series against Australia. He recently took over the captaincy from Babar Azam for the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.

Left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub has secured his maiden call-up to the Test squad following an outstanding performance in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24. With an impressive tally of 553 runs in four matches for Karachi Whites, including three centuries, Ayub has become a rising star in Pakistani cricket.

Similarly, 23-year-old fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, the leading wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, has also earned his maiden Test call-up. Shahzad’s exceptional performance in the domestic season, where he claimed 36 wickets in eight matches, has caught the selectors’ attention.

Also READ: Pakistan’s veterans Javed Miandad and Shoaib Akhtar criticize PCB over Babar Azam’s captaincy exit

Return of familiar names

Pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who has been unavailable from Test cricket since England’s tour of Pakistan in late 2022, is set to make his return to the squad. Additionally, left-arm pacer Mir Hamza and right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr, who were part of the squad during New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan in 2022-23, make their comeback to the Test lineup.

Pakistan’s Test squad for the Australia tour:

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

Also READ: Australian legend Matthew Hayden reflects on Babar Azam’s decision to step down as Pakistan captain in all formats

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