Pakistan’s Chief Selector Wahab Riaz has explained the decision to favor fast bowlers Hasan Ali, Khurram Shehzad and Mir Hamza over Mohammad Abbas for the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia, scheduled to start on December 14 .
During a media briefing yesterday, while announcing the 18-man squad for the aforementioned series, Wahab emphasized the importance of experience in the squad, citing the experienced prowess of Hasan Ali as a crucial factor. He highlighted the need for a player of Hasan’s character to anchor the relatively inexperienced side.
“Hasan Ali is an experienced bowler and we need a character like him to stay in the team because otherwise it is an inexperienced team. He has performed well in the county as well, so I am sure he will justify his selection. Mohammad Abbas is a good bowler and has done well in county cricket but we have the Australian conditions in mind. There is more bounce and reverse there and hence, Hasan would do better there,” said Wahab.
The Chief Selector also highlighted the selectors’ commitment to recognizing players in red ball cricket at the domestic level. Khurram Shehzad’s impressive performance over three years, including being the top wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, secured his place in the team.
“We want to show due respect to red ball players in domestic cricket. Hurrem has done very well and has improved over the past three years. He finished the Quaid-e-Azam trophy as the highest wicket-taker. Mir Hamza is a very good left-handed bowler who does well with the new ball. We needed someone who could cover Shaheen Shah Afridi, because he also plays a lot of cricket and we wanted to cover all our bases,” he said.
It is worth nothing that right-arm pacer Mohammad Abbas has played in 25 Test matches, securing 90 wickets at an average of 23.02 and an economy of 2.42. This impressive record also includes four five-wicket hauls. His last Test appearance was against the West Indies in 2021.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (capt), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Australia Tour Schedule:
- Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra
- 1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium
- 2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- 3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
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