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Pakistan may change Test squad for Australia series

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to make changes in the Test squad for the upcoming home series against Australia, scheduled to take place in March, local media reported.

A decision regarding Test player Muhammad Nawaz’s replacement will be made in a couple of days.

It may be recalled that Nawaz was dropped from the ongoing Pakistan Super League by Quetta Gladiators due to an injury. Nawaz suffered a fracture in his foot and would need time to recover.

Moreover, the team management is also concerned about bowler Hassan Ali’s form and fitness.

They also shared that pacer Naseem Shah’s name is being considered for inclusion in the reserve squad for the Australia series.

The PCB had announced its Test squad comprising 16 players and five reserves for the most anticipated series against Australia, starting March 4.

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

Zahid Mahmood

Reserves

Kamran Ghulam

Mohammad Abbas

Naseem Shah

Sarfaraz Ahmed

Yasir Shah

Meanwhile, Australia Test captain Pat Cummins and opening batter David Warner will not feature in limited-overs meetings with Pakistan next month after they were left out of the squad for a trio of one-day internationals and a T20 clash.

Cummins and Warner, along with bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, have been included in the squad for Australia’s three-Test tour of Pakistan, but will not be involved following the conclusion of that series.

Aaron Finch will lead a 16-man limited-overs squad that includes Test players Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith.

“We have picked a talented and versatile squad with a number of challenges to juggle,” national selector George Bailey said in a statement.

“(That includes) the tour structure of predominantly 50 over games, management of several multi-format players in the medium to long term, and our need to build experience and depth in preparation for two short-form World Cups within the next 18 months.

“We’re confident the squad can both compete successfully on this tour and continue our progress towards those crucial tournaments.”

The one-day international series will begin on March 29, with further matches on March 31 and April 2. The teams will then meet in a one-off T20 clash on April 5.

Australia Limited Overs Squad: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.

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