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Pakistan announces Test squad against Australia

LAHORE: Pakistan cricket selectors announced 16 players and five reserves for the three Tests against Australia, which will be played in Rawalpindi (4-8 March), Karachi (12-16 March) and Lahore (21-25 March).

From the series against Bangladesh, three changes have been made in the national squad.

Haris Rauf, who was in the side for the South Africa and Zimbabwe Tests in 2021, has returned to replace off-spinner Bilal Asif, while Shan Masood, who last played in New Zealand in the 2020-21 season, has taken over from Abid Ali, who is completing his rehabilitation after being diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome. Yasir Shah has been added to the reserve pool.

Test players who are not involved in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2022 will assemble in Karachi on Wednesday, 16 February, for a training camp that will be held at the National Stadium.

Test squad:

Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood AND Zahid Mahmood.

Reserves

Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah.

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim: “We have opted for consistency for the important home series against Australia and changes have only been made where absolutely necessary. This is to give the boys confidence, reward them for their impressive performances in the longer version of the game in 2021 and continue to build the side for the future.

“These are the best available, most talented and in-form players in the domestic circuit. I am confident they will put up an impressive performance against a formidable Australia side.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed Saqlain Mushtaq will continue as head coach for another 12 months, while it also announced the appointments of Shaun Tait as fast bowling coach for 12 months and Mohammad Yousuf as batting coach for the Australia series.

Player Support Personnel: Mansoor Rana (manager), Saqlain Mushtaq (head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Mohammad Yousuf (batting coach), Shaun Tait (bowling coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Drikus Saaiman (trainer/strength and conditioning coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media and digital manager), Col (retd) Usman Anwari (security manager), Talha Ejaz (analyst) and Malang Ali (masseur).

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