Pakistan on Monday named Test and T20 squads for the upcoming tour to Australia, which leaves out Sarfaraz Ahmed. Misbah-ul-Haq, Chief Selector and Head Coach of Pakistan cricket team, announced the squad at a press conference in Lahore.
Pakistan bring back uncapped opener Abid Ali and experienced left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti in the Test team. Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed and fast-bowler Imran Khan Senior were also recalled for World Test Championship matches. Wicket-keeper Muhammad Rizwan replaced former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed in the team.
Musa Khan was included in the T20I side along with uncapped middle-order batsman Khushdil Shah and wrist spinner Usman Qadir, and lanky fast bowler Mohammad Irfan made a comeback as well.
While talking to media Misbah-ul-Haq clarified Sarfaraz’s removal from captaincy.
Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq said that there is no conspiracy against former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed after the latter was stripped last week of his Twenty20 international and Test captaincy.
“There are all kinds of strange theories in the media but it’s a simple thing which is about Sarfaraz’s form and the pressure he was playing under. It was on the basis of that the decision to remove Sarfaraz from captaincy was taken” said Misbah before announcing Pakistan’s T20I and Test squads ahead of Australia tour.
“I had a detailed discussion with PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan and Chairman Ehsan Mani on the same issue,” he added.
“Regarding a comeback, it’s straight-forward. Domestic cricket is taking place and it’s just a matter of regaining form. Once that happens, the doors are open. There is no conspiracy against him,” he added.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was also dropped from the Twenty20 International (T20I) and Test squad for the upcoming tour of Australia as well.
Sarfraz, 32, was replaced by Babar Azam, T20Is, and Azhar Ali in Tests, respectively. His place in both squads was taken by 27-year-old Mohammad Rizwan, whose only Test was in New Zealand in 2016.
Pakistan will play three Twenty20 internationals in Sydney (November 3), Canberra (November 5) and Perth (November 8). The two Tests will be in Brisbane (Nov 21-25) and Adelaide (Nov 29-Dec 03).
Pakistan’s T20 squad:
Babar Azam (captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, and Wahab Riaz.
Pakistan’s Test Squad:
Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, and Yasir Shah.
Australia v Pakistan, T20I Series Schedule:
First T20: November 3, SCG
Second T20: November 5, Manuka Oval
Third T20: November 8, Perth Stadium
Australia v Pakistan, Test Series Schedule:
Warm-up match: v Cricket Australia XI, November 11-13, Perth Stadium (d/n)
Warm-up match: v Cricket Australia XI, November 15-16, WACA Ground
First Test: November 21-25, Gabba
Second Test: November 29 – December 3, Adelaide (d/n)