Pakistan pick Rauf, Masood for Australia tests
Pakistan named fast bowler Haris Rauf in their 16-man squad for next month’s three-test home series against Australia while recalling opening batter Shan Masood, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Wednesday (Feb 9).
Rauf, who was also in the squad for South Africa and Zimbabwe tests last year, has yet to play in the longest format and replaced off-spinner Bilal Asif from the group that won 2-0 in Bangladesh at the end of 2021.
He has played both 50-overs and Twenty20 internationals.
Masood played the last of his 25 tests against New Zealand at the beginning of 2021 and came into the squad for Abid Ali, who is recuperating after surgery for a heart condition.
“We have opted for consistency for the important home series against Australia and changes have only been made where absolutely necessary,” selection committee chief Muhammad Wasim said in a statement.
“This is to give the boys confidence, reward them for their impressive performances in the longer version of the game in 2021 and continue to build the side for the future.”
The PCB also announced that former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and retired Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait would continue as the team’s head coach and fast bowling coach respectively for another 12 months.
Mohammad Yousuf will continue as batting coach for the Australia series, the board added.
Australia will play in Pakistan for the first time in almost 25 years with the opening test scheduled to begin in Rawalpindi from Mar 4. Karachi will host the second test from Mar 12 with the final test from Mar 21 in Lahore.
The two sides will also play three 50-over internationals and one Twenty20 match.
Test squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood.