Saim Ayub gets maiden Test call-up as new chief selector Wahab Riaz announces squad for Australia tour
Left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub received his maiden call-up for the Test side on Monday as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming tour of Australia.
Saim’s inclusion into the red-ball squad comes after the youngster put together a series of impressive performances in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24 where he scored 553 runs in four matches for Karachi Whites and had three centuries to his name, including a match-winning double-century against Faisalabad in the final.
Pakistan will play three tests in Australia scheduled from 14 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.
“Shan Masood will be leading the side in his first assignment as Test captain,” a PCB press release said.
Fast bowler Khurram Shehzad also received his maiden Test call-up after he became the highest wicket-taker of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24 with 36 wickets in eight matches at an average of 20.31
Meanwhile, Faheem Ashraf returns to the Test side for the first time since 2022, whereas left-arm pacer Mir Hamza and Mohammad Wasim Jr also make their comebacks.
The presser quoted the newly appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz as saying: “The squad has been assembled keeping in mind the challenging Australian conditions.”
“We have kept the pitches in mind and added more pace bowling resources to the team to ensure that the management can be flexible with the team combinations in all three Test matches,” Wahab said.
“Saim Ayub has been added to the squad after the extraordinary domestic season he has had this year. He has impressed with the bat during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and Pakistan Cup, pushing the case for his selection. His inclusion will strengthen our solid batting line-up,” Wahab said while speaking about Saim’s inclusion in the squad.
“Pakistan has started off the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 really well, after their success in Sri Lanka earlier this year,” he said.
“We hope that the team can carry this momentum ahead in Australia as well. We have tried to ensure that the team has all relevant resources to find success in Australia.”
Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (captain), 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