The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Monday, November 20, 2023, announced the 18-member national squad for their upcoming three-Test tour of Australia in December-January. This squad was picked by new chief selector Wahab Riaz.
Shan Masood will be leading the side in his first assignment as Test captain. He was named Pakistan's captain for the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle after taking over the reins from Babar Azam last week.
The first Test will be played in Perth from 14-18 December, the second match in Melbourne from 26-30 December, and the third and final match in Sydney from 3-7 January 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,” Wahab Riaz said on the PCB website.
Notably, two new faces have been named in the Test squad for the first time. Left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub has earned his maiden call-up, after an impressive run in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24. He made 553 runs in four matches for Karachi Whites with three tons, including a double ton in the final.
Right-arm fast bowler Khurram Shahzad was also rewarded for his performance as he picked up 36 wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
“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.
Pakistan has started the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 well, after their success in Sri Lanka earlier this year. We hope that the team can carry this momentum ahead in Australia as well. We have tried to ensure that the team has all relevant resources to find success in Australia,” Riaz added.
Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, and Mir Hamza were recalled into the squad for this important Test tour.
The squad is slated to assemble in Rawalpindi on November 22nd for a camp that will run from 23 to 28 November at Pindi Cricket Stadium. 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 (C), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Imam-Ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Mohammad Wasim Jr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi