The Pakistan squad for the Test series against Australia departed Thursday for Down Under as the Men in Green look to change history.
The 18-member squad and 17-member management team will arrive in Sydney via Dubai and then will travel to Canberra where they will play a practice match against Australia Prime Minister’s XI scheduled for December 6.
Newly appointed batting coach Adam Hollioake and high-performance coach Simon Grant Helmot will join the team in Australia.
According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the squad will kick off their training sessions in Canberra on Sunday starting at 10am local time.
The Pakistan cricket team will play their first Test match against Australia in Perth from December 14 to 18, followed by a Test match in Melbourne, from 26. Sydney will host the last game of the tour from January 3, 2024.
In a press conference, a day earlier, Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood assured that batter Babar Azam’s spot in the playing XI will not be tinkered with and the side will build around him.
Masood said that the team for the Australia Test tour was selected under a “due process” and his job was made easier as everyone was on the same page.
“Our Test team is settled and the World Test Championship has already started on that note,” said Shan. He hinted that the team would stick with the opening pair of Abdullah Shafique and Imam Ul Haq and he would bat at number 3.
“Babar Azam is the best batter in the side and you build your team around your best batter so his position will not be tinkered with. Similar to Saim, Khurram Shehzad and Mir Hamza have been awarded for their domestic performances. As for Haris Rauf, you can request for a player but the discretion lies with the player and if they are unavailable, you have to make peace with it,” said Masood.
The newly-appointed skipper said that they “will not be making many changes to the settled team” but the squad will travel to Australia “with the intent to win so that will reflect in how the team plays”.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), 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.
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