PAK vs AUS: Pakistan young pace sensation, Naseem Shah has been added to the Test squad for the upcoming first Test against Australia. This has come after Haris Rauf was tested positive for Covid-19. As a result of that, he was ruled out of the first Test match. For the unversed, Naseem Shah was previously in the reserve list of players. He has now been added to the squad.
As far as Haris Rauf is concerned, he will remain in isolation for five days and will join the squad after his quarantine period is over. After Rauf’s test came out positive, all the other members of the squad were retested as well and came up with negative results. Injuries to Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf meant Haris Rauf was in line to make his Test debut. However, he will now have to wait a bit more time to don the Test jersey.
It will be interesting to see if Naseem Shah gets to play the first Test against Australia. Naseem, who last played in a Test in January 2021 in Christchurch, is expected to compete with Mohammad Wasim Jr for a position in the starting XI for the March 4th match. The first Test of the three-match series is scheduled to be played from 4th to 8th March 2022 at Rawalpindi Cricket Ground. Australia will be playing a Test series in Pakistan for the first time since 1998.
For skipper Pat Cummins, it will be his first overseas assignment since his appointment as the full-time captain. Australia has come up with three spinners in the squad, namely Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar, and Mitchell Swepson. However, the pitch at Rawalpindi Stadium in the first Test offers more assistance to the pacers than the spinners. Thus, Australia is likely to field only one spinner in Nathan Lyon for the first Test.
Pakistan is all set to play a historic game against Australia, Australia’s first tour to the Asian nation since 1998. The tour starts with the Test series, the first game of which will take place in Rawalpindi (March 4-8), while the 2nd Test is set to be played in Karachi (March 12-16) with the final Test scheduled to be hosted in Lahore (March 21-25). The series will be followed by three ODIs and a one-off T20I. The ODI series will take place in Rawalpindi on March 29, March 31, and April 2. The one-off T20I will also take place in Rawalpindi on April 5.