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Wahab Riaz’s Bold Statements Ahead of Pakistan’s Australia Tour

Wahab Riaz's Bold Decisions and Statements Ahead of Pakistan's Australia Tour.

In a decisive move marking his debut as the chief selector, Wahab Riaz has unveiled the 18-member Pakistan Test squad set to embark on a crucial tour to Australia, encompassing three matches scheduled from December 14, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

This significant announcement comes in the wake of Riaz’s recent appointment to lead the national men’s selection committee. As the cricketing world turns its attention to the upcoming series, Riaz provides insights into the squad selection process, shedding light on key decisions and strategic considerations.

Babar Azam, the world-class batter and captain of the Pakistan Test team, finds his leadership credentials under scrutiny as Wahab Riaz addresses the media. Riaz notes,

“Babar’s captaincy decision is with the PCB chairman. He is a world-class batter, but Pakistan had not won any ICC or ACC event in four years under him.”

Shan Masood emerges as a prominent figure in the squad, not only for his batting prowess but also for his leadership qualities. Riaz emphasizes Masood’s experience by stating,

“Shan Masood captained players like Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow; he was the captain of Yorkshire too, and we see him as a good leader.”

While the captaincy question is yet to be fully settled, Riaz assures that the vice-captaincy slot will be filled soon, indicating a proactive approach in shaping the team’s leadership structure. He stated,

“Pakistan will announce their vice-captain very soon.”

Explaining the exclusion of Mohammad Abbas from the squad, Riaz clarifies,

“Mohammad Abbas isn’t in the squad because we needed bowlers who could hit the deck hard and gain some reverse swing too.”

The selection of Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, and Khurram Shehzad showcases Riaz’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding domestic performers. Hasan Ali’s inclusion is justified by Riaz, citing his experience and decent performances in County Cricket. Mir Hamza is selected as the second left-arm pacer, providing variety to the bowling attack, while Khurram Shehzad’s selection underscores his status as the best fast bowler in domestic cricket. Wahab riaz quoted,

“Hasan Ali is in the team because of his experience and because of decent performances in County Cricket.”

“Mir Hamza is there as the second left-arm pacer, and we needed a new-ball bowler with Shaheen too.”

“Khurram Shehzad was the best fast bowler in domestic cricket and has been rewarded.”

Addressing the talent pool, Riaz acknowledges,

“Haseeb Ullah is a very fine talent, but we have Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed who have done really well in Tests.”

Another standout mention is Kamran Ghulam, who has garnered attention for his stellar performances in domestic cricket. Riaz acknowledges Ghulam’s excellence but pragmatically notes,

“Kamran Ghulam has done superbly, but he’s competing against players in the middle-order who are already doing great.”

Addressing the spin department, Riaz notes,

“Nawaz, Shadab, and other spinners have been invited to the camp, and they will work on the issues in their bowling.”

As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the series, Riaz’s selections and remarks have added an element of intrigue and anticipation to Pakistan’s upcoming tour Down Under.

Also Read: Saim Ayub and Khurram Shahzad Included in Pakistan’s Test Squad for Australia Tour

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