Rizwan replaces Sarfaraz as Pakistan squad named for Australia Tests, T20s

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday  announced their T20 and Test squads for Australia tour and decided to unleash their next generation of pace sensations Musa Khan and Naseem Shah, along with teenage Shaheen Shah Afridi by naming the trio in the 16-man squad for next month’s World Test Championship fixtures.

 

The 19-year-old Musa from Islamabad has played seven first-class matches in which he has taken 17 wickets, while Lahore’s 16-year-old Naseem has also claimed 17 wickets in five first-class matches.

 

In the T20I side, they have included Bannu’s 24-year-old middle-order batsman Khushdil Shah and 26-year-old wrist spinner Usman Qadir of Lahore, who has played seven Big Bash League matches for Perth Scorchers.

 

In the ongoing National T20 Cup, Khushdil has scored 93 runs for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at an impressive strike-rate of over 160. Khushdil was the second highest run-getter in the Pakistan Cup 2019, scoring 316 runs at 105.33 with the help of two centurieswhile Usman has taken four wickets at an economy-rate of under seven.

 

In the Test side, the selectors, apart from Musa and Naseem, have also named uncapped opener Abid Ali, who has scored 7,000 first-class runs in 104 matches, including 300 runs in the two Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches to date, and left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti. The 33-year-old Kashif has taken 10 wickets in the current season, while in an 83-match first-class career, spanning over 12 years, he has taken 327 wickets.

 

While talking to reporters, Misbah-ul-Haq said: “We know that Australia will present different and exciting challenges for us. There is a need to play a different type of cricket, the balance of the squads is reflective of us having options to play aggressive, attacking cricket.”

 

He said “Yes it’s a brave and bold decision to select the likes of Musa and Naseem, but we know that their fresh and attacking approach will give us something different. The Australian wickets will give them the opportunity to express themselves, gain valuable experience and it will help us to take 20 wickets to win the Tests.”

 

On Sarfaraz’s issue, the chief selector said Sarfaraz was dropped only because of his performance, there’s no conspiracy against him. We all acknowledge his achievements. Domestic cricket continues, the day he regains form, he will be back.

 

The T20I side will depart for Sydney on 26 October, while the Test players will leave for Perth after featuring in the fifth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which will be played from 28-31 October.

 

T20 Squad: Babar Azam (C), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir,Mohammad Hasnain,Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz.

 

Test Squad: Azhar Ali (C), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq,Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
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