In a strategic move ahead of the first Test in Perth against Australia, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed the dynamic fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, as the vice-captain for the Test team. This decision comes on the heels of newly appointed Test skipper Shan Masood taking the reins after Babar Azam’s decision to step down from captaincy across all formats.
The announcement, made on the eve of the much-anticipated clash between Pakistan and Australia, brings a fresh leadership dynamic to the Pakistani team. Shaheen Afridi, who already serves as the T20I skipper for the ‘Men in Green,’ will now assume the role of deputy for the Test squad.
With 27 Test matches under his belt, Shaheen Afridi has proven his mettle, registering an impressive tally of 105 wickets at an economy rate of 3.08. In the absence of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, Shaheen is poised to spearhead the pace bowling attack, with the support of Faheem Ashraff.
Shan Masood, in his debut as Test captain, has orchestrated several changes to the squad. All-rounder Aamir Jamal and right-arm pacer Khurram Shahzad are set to make their Test debuts, injecting fresh talent into the team.
Aamir Jamal, who made his international debut for Pakistan in 2022 against England and represented the nation at the 19th Asian Games, brings his all-round abilities to the Test arena. Khurram Shahzad is gearing up for his maiden outing for Pakistan, adding depth to the pace-bowling department.
The squad reshuffle also sees the return of players who missed a year of action with the red ball. Faheem Ashraf is making a comeback to don the white jersey, while experienced wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed retains his position as Pakistan’s first choice, keeping Mohammed Rizwan in contention for a role behind the stumps.
Pakistan’s Playing XI against Australia:
- Abdullah Shafique
- Shan Masood (c)
- Babar Azam
- Saud Shakeel
- Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk)
- Salman Ali Agha
- Faheem Ashraf
- Shaheen Afridi (vc)
- Aamir Jamal
- Khurram Shahzad
As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the showdown in Perth, these strategic changes reflect Pakistan’s commitment to fielding a formidable team and securing success on Australian soil.
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