Pakistan has named its star speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi as the vice-captain of the Test team for the series against Australia on the eve of the first Test in Perth. Two cricket giants will go head-to-head on Thursday in Perth, a clash that will continue Pakistan’s 28-year quest for their first Test win on Australian soil. Shaheen, who has been appointed as the T20I skipper for the ‘Men in Green’, will now deputize for newly named skipper Shan Masood after Babar Azam decided to step down from the captaincy in all formats. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released an official statement to announce Shaheen as the vice-captain for the Test series. “Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been named vice-captain of the Pakistan Test team for the series against Australia,” a PCB statement read.
Shaheen has played 27 Tests where he has managed to register 105 wickets with an economy of 3.08.
In the absence of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, he will spearhead the pace bowling attack and will be supported by Faheem Ashraff.
Along with this, Masood’s first Test outing as skipper has seen a plethora of changes in the squad with all-rounder Aamir Jamal and right-arm pacer Khurram Shahzad set to make their Test debut.
Jamal made his international debut for Pakistan in 2022 against England and also represented the Men in Green at the 19th Asian Games. On the other hand, the Perth Test will mark Khurram’s first outing for his nation.
Along with recruiting two new faces, some players return to the mix after missing a year of red ball action.
Faheem Ashraf returns to don the white jersey, while experienced wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed remains Pakistan’s first choice, leaving Mohammed Rizwan waiting for a role behind the stumps.
Pakistan playing XI against Australia: Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Aamir Jamal and Khurram Shahzad.
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