Pakistan is gearing up for changes in their team lineup ahead of the second Test against Australia, set to kick off in Melbourne on December 26.
Reports suggest three players might sit out for this crucial match. Injured Khurram Shahzad won’t be available for the upcoming games due to injuries in his left 10th rib and abdominal muscles, as confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). His debut in Perth was notable with five wickets to his credit.
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s underwhelming performance in the previous game, scoring only seven runs and missing a few chances as a wicketkeeper, might see him replaced by Mohammad Rizwan. Faheem Ashraf, who managed just 14 runs and one wicket in Perth, might pave the way for spinner Sajid Khan. Additionally, either Mir Hamza or Hasan Ali could step in for Khurram.
Pakistan faced a tough defeat in the first Test, crumbling for 89 runs in their fourth innings, chasing a daunting 450. Their first innings of 271 fell short in reply to Australia’s 487. Adding to their woes, Pakistan was penalized for a slow over-rate, resulting in a fine and a deduction of ICC World Test Championship points.
Ahead of the second Test, Pakistan will engage in a practice match against Victoria on December 22-23.
The Australian squad for the upcoming test includes Pat Cummins (captain), and a mix of talented players like Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, and others. Pakistan’s team features Shan Masood as captain and a lineup of promising players including Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and more.