The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 16-man squad for the three-match T20I series in the upcoming tour of Australia. The 20-overs fixtures are scheduled to get underway on Sunday, November 3 and the encounters will be played in Sydney, Canberra and Perth respectively. The series is also the first assignment of Babar Azam as the skipper of the national team.
In the absence of Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan has been picked as the keeper. Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad made their comebacks in the Sri Lanka T20Is. However, after some poor shows with the bat, both had to face the axe for the Australia series. Left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, who last played a T20I back in March 2016, has been called back into the mix.
Three news names in the squad
The T20I setup has undergone a revamp with three new players- Khushdil Shah, Musa Khan and Usman Qadir- getting their maiden national call-up. All three are taking part in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Pakistan. Musa is a fearsome 19-year-old fast bowler and picked up a four-wicket haul in the only game he has played for Northern Pakistan in the T20 championship.
Qadir, the son of the late Abdul Qadir, has played for Central Punjab. The 26-year-old has also played a fair amount of cricket in Australia, representing the Perth Scorchers. Leg-spin bowler Qadir was also a part of the Victoria team last year in Australia’s domestic One Day Cup. On the other hand, 24-year-old Khushdil is a talented batsman, representing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Imam-ul-Haq wasn’t a part of the Sri Lanka T20Is, but has earned his place back into the scheme of things. Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan went for plenty in the same series, however, managed to retain their position in the squad. Iftikhar Ahmed has also been persisted with.
Haris Sohail, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain are the other players in the squad for the tour of Australia.
Here is the Pakistan squad
Babar Azam (C), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz
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