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AUS vs PAK: Pakistan announce playing XI for first Test, two players to make debut

The first Test between Australia and Pakistan is set to commence on December 14 in Perth. Both teams have now named their playing XIs for the clash. Pakistan have handed Test debuts to two players in their playing XI and have not included any spinner.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: December 13, 2023 12:48 IST
Shan Masood, Pat Cummins, AUS vs PAK
Image Source : GETTY Shan Masood and Pat Cummins

Following the footsteps of Australia, Pakistan have also announced their playing XI for the first of three-match Test series starting from December 14 (Thursday). Their new captain Shan Masood has taken over the reins from Babar Azam as Pakistan are set to play international cricket for the first time since the World Cup debacle last month.

The visitors have handed Test debuts to fast bowlers Khurram Shahzad and Aamer Jamal as they will join Shaheen Afridi in the three-pronged pace attack supported by pace-bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. There is no spinner in the playing XI even as the one whom they were likely to play - Abrar Ahmed - got injured in the warm-up and is also doubtful for the rest of the series. This is also the first series as captain for Masood as he will bat at three with Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique opening the innings.

Former captain Babar Azam will bat at number four with Saud Shakeel coming in next. Sarfaraz Ahmed has been preferred over Mohammad Rizwan as the wicketkeeper-batter despite the former not keeping up to the potential in the four-day game against the Prime Minister's XI. Agha Salman will bat at seven and will most possibly play the role of a part-time spinner as well to give a breather to his fast bowlers.

Earlier in the day, even Australia named their playing XI appointing Travis Head as the vice-captain alongside Steve Smith. There were no surprises in their playing XI with Nathan Lyon returning to the playing XI after regaining full fitness during the Ashes.

Playing XIs:

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (C), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK), Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Aamer Jamal, Khurram Shahzad

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon

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