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Pakistan Cricket Team Departs for Challenging Australia Tour

Pakistan’s Test team, led by Shan Masood, has left for Australia from Lahore on Thursday to play a tough three-match series starting on December 14. The team will travel to Sydney via Dubai, where they will play a four-day warm-up match against the Prime Minister’s XI from December 6.

Pakistan will hope to end Australia’s dominance in their home conditions and register their first Test series win Down Under. They have a balanced squad, with experienced players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi, and young talents like Saim Ayub, Khurram Shahzad and Mohammad Wasim Jnr. Masood, who has played 30 Tests and scored 1,879 runs, has been given the captaincy for the first time, replacing Babar Azam, who stepped down voluntarily after Pakistan’s poor performance in the 2023 World Cup.

Masood expressed confidence in his team and said that they are a settled unit. He praised Babar Azam as the best batsman in the team and said that he will bat at his usual number four position. He also said that the opening combination of Imam ul Haq and Abdullah Shafique has been consistent and that he will bat at number three. He said that the team is well-prepared and motivated to take on the Australian challenge.

Pakistan will also have a new coaching staff, with Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal joining as fast-bowling and spin-bowling coaches respectively. They will work under head coach and director Muhammad Hafeez. The PCB has also upgraded Masood’s central contract from Category D to B ahead of the tour.

The first Test of the series will be played at the Perth Stadium from December 14, followed by the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26 and the New Year’s Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3.

Pakistan Test Squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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