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Pakistan Opts for Rizwan Over Sarfaraz as Wicketkeeper for Melbourne Test

Pakistan have made another change to their playing XI for the second Test against Australia, starting from December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Mohammad Rizwan will take over the wicket keeping duties from Sarfaraz Ahmed.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the 12-man squad on Monday, but said that the final XI will be revealed on Tuesday, the day of the match.

Test captain Shan Masood defended the decision to drop Sarfaraz, saying that it was not a demotion but a rest for the former skipper. He praised Sarfaraz for making a comeback after being sidelined for a long time, but said that Rizwan’s record in the Australian conditions was better and he deserved a chance.

“Sarfaraz made a great comeback after four years. However, Rizwan’s record was looking very good in this condition and considering that, he was selected for the playing XI,” Masood said at a press conference.

He added that Sarfaraz will get more opportunities to play where the conditions are favourable for him, and that he was still an important part of the team.

Masood also admitted that Pakistan need to improve their batting performance, especially in the first innings, where they have been bowled out for low scores in the recent matches. He said that the batsmen will have to play with more intent and aggression, as they are facing 100 overs in a day.

He also acknowledged the challenge of facing the Australian pace attack, which has been dominant in the home conditions. He said that test cricket is difficult for fast bowlers, and that Pakistan will have to counter them with patience and skill.

Meanwhile, Australia have named an unchanged XI for the Boxing Day Test, sticking with the same team that won the first Test convincingly. The hosts will be aiming to seal the series with another win, while Pakistan will be hoping to bounce back and level the series.

The Boxing Day Test is one of the most prestigious and well-attended matches in the cricket calendar, and both teams will be eager to put up a good show for the fans.

The 12-man squad for Pakistan is as follows:

Shan Masood (c), Shaheen Shah Afridi (vc), Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Muhammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamir Jamal, Sajid Khan

The playing XI for Australia is as follows:

David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

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