In Lahore, chief selector Wahab Riaz has revealed the 18-man Pakistani Test squad that will play three matches in Australia between 14 December 2023 and 7 January 2024. Since Wahab assumed leadership of the national men’s selection committee just last week, this is his first official assignment.
This will be Shan Masood’s first test as captain, and he’ll be guiding the team. Last Monday, he replaced Babar Azam as Pakistan’s captain for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship 2023–25 cycle.
Saim Ayub, a left-handed opener, has been called up to the Test team for the first time following an outstanding performance in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24. The 22-year-old scored 553 runs in four matches for Karachi Whites and had three hundreds to his name, including a match-winning double century against Faisalabad in the final of the competition. He kept it up in the Pakistan Cup (a one-day tournament), where he was crowned the tournament’s top batter and finished with the most runs.
Khurram Shahzad, a right-arm fast bowler, has also received his first Test call-up after an impressive local season. The 23-year-old was the tournament’s leading wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, with 36 scalps across eight games at an average of 20.31. He also led all bowlers in the just finished Pakistan Cup with 13 scalps at an average of 16.62.
Faheem Ashraf, a fast bowling all-rounder who last played for Pakistan in Tests during the English tour in late 2022, is back in the squad.
Also returning to the squad are left-arm pacer Mir Hamza and right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim Jnr, who combined for 32 wickets at 20.88 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24. During New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan in December 2022 and January 2023, the two fast bowlers were members of Pakistan’s squad.