Pak­istan re­sist change in squad for Aus­tralia

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Pak­istan re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to change and re­tained the same 16-man squad which is cur­rently on tour in New Zealand for their up­com­ing se­ries in Aus­tralia, their chief se­lec­tor said yes­ter­day.

The two-Test se­ries in New Zealand will be com­pleted to­day, and the Pak­istan team will leave for Aus­tralia a day later where they play the first of three Tests-a day-night af­fair in Bris­bane-from De­cem­ber 15. Chief se­lec­tor In­za­mam-ul-Haq said con­ti­nu­ity is nec­es­sary. “We have kept the same 16mem­ber squad for the tour of Aus­tralia be­cause we be­lieve in con­ti­nu­ity and think that the same team has done well in Eng­land so it will do well in Aus­tralia as well,” In­za­mam told AFP.

Pak­istan drew a four-match se­ries 2-2 in Eng­land in Au­gust this year, which briefly lifted them to num­ber one in the Test rank­ings for the first time in their his­tory. How­ever, they are in dan­ger of los­ing their first Test se­ries against New Zealand in 31 years af­ter fail­ing the first Test in Christchurch by eight wick­ets.

They were set a daunt­ing 369-run tar­get by New Zealand in the se­cond Test in Hamil­ton yes­ter­day. In­za­mam said a lot of names were con­sid­ered but af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with cap­tain Mis­bah-ul-Haq and coach Mickey Arthur the same squad was re­tained.

For­mer Test wicket-keeper Kam­ran Ak­mal, Us­man Salahud­din and Asif Zakir were un­lucky to not be in the squad af­ter scor­ing big in an on­go­ing do­mes­tic tour­na­ment.

Ak­mal, who played the last of his 53 Tests at Lord’s in Lon­don in 2010, has piled up 826 runs, while Zakir has 811 and Salahud­din 813.

The re­main­ing two Tests will be played in Mel­bourne (De­cem­ber 26-30) and Syd­ney (Jan­uary 3-7). Pak­istan will also play five one-day in­ter­na­tion­als in Aus­tralia, a squad for which will be an­nounced later. Squad: Mis­bah-ul-Haq (cap­tain), Azhar Ali, Sami As­lam, Babar Azam, You­nis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Shar­jeel Khan, Sar­fraz Ahmed, Mo­ham­mad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mo­ham­mad Nawaz, Mo­ham­mad Amir, Wa­hab Riaz, Ra­hat Ali, Im­ran Khan, So­hail Khan. —AFP

Mis­bah-ul-Haq

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