Pakistan has appointed its star speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi as vice-captain of the Test team for the series against Australia on the eve of the first Test in Perth. Two cricketing giants will square off against each other on Thursday in Perth, a clash that will continue Pakistan’s 28-year hunt for their first Test victory on Australian soil. Shaheen who has been appointed as the T20I skipper of the ‘Men in Green’ will now serve as the deputy for newly crowned skipper Shan Masood after Babar Azam decided to step down from captaincy in all formats. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released an official statement to announce Shaheen as the vice-captain for the Test series. “Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been appointed vice-captain of the Pakistan Test Team for the series against Australia,” a statement from PCB read.
Shaheen has played 27 Tests, in which he has managed to register 105 wickets at an economy of 3.08.
In the absence of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, he will spearhead the pace bowling attack and will be supported by Faheem Ashraff.
Along with this, Masood’s first Test outing as a skipper has seen a plethora of changes in the squad with all-rounder Aamir Jamal and right-arm pacer Khurram Shahzad bound to make their Test debut.
Jamal made his international debut for Pakistan in 2022 against England and also represented the Men in Green at the 19th Asian Games. On the other hand, the Perth Test will mark Khurram’s first outing for his nation.
Along with enlisting two new faces, some players are returning to the mix after missing a year of action with the red ball.
Faheem Ashraf is returning to don the white jersey while experienced wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed continues to be Pakistan’s first choice, making Mohammed Rizwan wait for a role behind the stumps.
Pakistan playing XI against Australia: Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Aamir Jamal, and Khurram Shahzad.
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