Sarfaraz Ahmed faces exclusion: Mohammad Rizwan steps in as Pakistan name 12-man squad for boxing day Test
Pakistan unveils its 12-man squad for the upcoming Boxing Day Test against Australia, featuring Mohammad Rizwan stepping in for the experienced Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Pakistan has revealed its 12-man squad for the upcoming Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, featuring significant changes. Mohammad Rizwan steps in as the replacement for seasoned wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who faced a challenging time during the Perth Test, managing only 7 runs in both innings against Mitchell Starc's relentless bowling. Some of the fans have reacted after seeing Sarfaraz's exclusion.
This decision marks one of three alterations made by Pakistan for the highly anticipated Test. Pacer Khurram Shahzad's absence due to injury and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf's omission after a subpar performance in Perth are the other notable changes. However, the spotlight remains on Sarfaraz's exclusion from the squad.
The decision to sideline Sarfaraz has garnered criticism, primarily due to his struggles in Australian conditions. With a modest average of 29.87 in 10 innings, questions arose about his selection. Pakistan captain Shan Masood defended the decision, citing Sarfaraz's domestic cricket performance, commitment, and intensity as contributing factors.
The squad for the second Test includes Imam-Ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamir Jamal, and Sajid Khan.