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Pakistan’s Squad Changes Ahead of Melbourne Test

The Pakistan cricket team is gearing up for the second Test against Australia, set to commence on December 26th in Melbourne. According to sources, several changes are expected in the playing XI, with Muhammad Rizwan most likely to replace Sarfaraz Ahmed as the wicketkeeper.

Rizwan had previously replaced Sarfaraz as a concussion substitute in the second Test against Sri Lanka earlier this year. This change comes amidst a series of adjustments in the squad, with a tight contest expected between Hasan Ali and Mir Hamza for a place in the team following the exclusion of Khurram Shahzad due to injury.

All-rounder Faheem Ashraf might also be dropped from the team, with off-break bowler Sajid Khan being considered as a potential replacement. Despite these changes, openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique are expected to continue their roles.

Unfortunately, the team has been hit with a series of injuries. Fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, who made his debut in the first Test against Australia, is feared to miss the entire cricket season due to an abdominal muscle tear and a stress fracture in his left 10th rib. His recovery is expected to take months, and it is hoped that he will be fit for consideration for the T20 World Cup in June 2024.

Shahzad’s injury is a significant setback for the Pakistan team, which is already dealing with the absence of Naseem Shah due to injury and Haris Rauf, who opted out of the series to play in Australia’s T20 Big Bash League. These back-to-back injuries have posed challenges for the team management, adding to the pressure of the upcoming Test.

Despite these hurdles, the team remains focused on the upcoming Test. The Boxing Day Test is a significant event in the cricket calendar, and the team is determined to put forth a strong performance. The changes in the squad are aimed at ensuring the best possible combination of players on the field.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the team management are closely monitoring the situation and are hopeful that the changes will yield positive results in the upcoming Test. The team is committed to overcoming these challenges and is looking forward to the Boxing Day Test.

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