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Pakistan names 16-member squad for home Test series against Australia


Fast bowler Haris Rauf and opener Shan Masood were recalled in the 16-member Pakistan squad for the upcoming three-match home Test series against Australia beginning on March 4. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Saqlain Mushtaq will continue as head coach for another 12 months.

Former Australia quick Shaun Tait will take over as fast bowling coach for 12 months, while Mohammad Yousuf has been appointed as the batting coach for this series.

Veteran leg-spinner Yasir Shah was named in the five-player reserve pool, which will also have the likes of young Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas.

The tour will mark Australia’s first series in Pakistan since 1998. The three Tests will be played in Rawalpindi (March 4-8), Karachi (March 12-16) and Lahore (March 21-25). The squad, to be led by Babar Azam, has no other surprises from the one that played two Tests matches in Bangladesh in November-December last year.

“Haris Rauf, who was in the side for 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 2020-21 season, has taken over from Abid Ali, who is completing his rehabilitation after being diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome,” the PCB said in a statement.

The 28-year-old Rauf is yet to play a Test for Pakistan though he has featured in eight ODIs and 34 T20Is. Test players who are not involved in the Pakistan Super League will assemble in Karachi on February 16 for a training camp that will be held at the National Stadium.

“We have opted for consistency for the important home series against Australia and changes have only been made where absolutely necessary,” chief selector Muhammad Wasim said.

“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.”

Pakistan Test squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc), 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, Zahid Mahmood.

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





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