In the aftermath of the disappointment in the ODI World Cup 2023, Pakistan Cricket has undergone significant changes, both in terms of team management and leadership. With a new coaching staff in place, the charismatic Babar Azam stepped down from the captaincy, paving the way for Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi to lead Pakistan in Tests and T20Is, respectively.
Table of Contents
- Red-ball challenge down under
- Shan Masood reveals the batting order
- Babar Azam’s number untouched
- Wicketkeeping conundrum: Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s role
Red-ball challenge down under
Pakistan are gearing up for a challenging tour of Australia, featuring a three-match Test series. The red-ball battle is set to commence on December 14 in Perth, preceded by a crucial 4-day warm-up game against Prime Ministers XI on December 06.
Shan Masood reveals the batting order
In a press conference held on Wednesday in Lahore, newly-appointed Test captain Masood unveiled Pakistan’s batting order for the upcoming Australia tour. Masood, who will lead the Men in Green in the Test format, expressed confidence in the team’s established batting lineup.
“Our Test team has been a settled unit. The opening combination of Imam ul Haq and Abdullah Shafique has been representing Pakistan for more than a year now. They have given a lot of performances. After the retirement of Azhar Ali, I have mostly played at number three spot in domestic and international cricket. This is the top three in our plans,” stated Masood.
Babar Azam’s number untouched
Addressing concerns about the former captain Babar’s position, Masood reassured that Babar would retain his spot at number four. He emphasized the importance of building the team around the former Pakistan skipper, acknowledging him as Pakistan’s best batter.
“Babar Azam is our best batsman. No one would disturb his batting position, which is number four spot. You make your team around the team’s best batsman,” added Masood.
Wicketkeeping conundrum: Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s role
Masood addressed queries about the wicketkeeping duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed, noting that their presence in the playing XI would depend on conditions and the team’s requirements for the Australia tour.
“When you have a settled unit, you play according to conditions or if any injury takes place. If we get to play an extra batter and drop a spinner, we will consider it. But our main focus would be to have five bowlers as the target would be to claim 20 wickets,” Masood emphasized.
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