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Australia v Pakistan 2023/24

Shan Masood explains why Sarfaraz Ahmed will be in the Pakistan XI for the Australia Tests

Sarfaraz Ahmed Shan Masood
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Newly appointed Pakistan captain Shan Masood has explained why Sarfaraz Ahmed will start ahead of Mohammad Rizwan in the upcoming Test series against Australia.

Speaking to reporters during Pakistan’s practice in Perth, Masood told reporters: “In the last full series before Sri Lanka, Sarfaraz bhai came back and was the Player of the Series. Unfortunately, he had a concussion after just one Test. He was one of the best batters in the recent domestic season and the intention will be to give him the go-ahead and give him another chance.”


Sarfaraz was absent from Pakistan’s Test side for three years before he was recalled in December last year against New Zealand in Karachi. His recall came after Pakistan lost their home series to England 3-0, with Mohammad Rizwan dropped for the following series against the Black Caps. The former captain scored 86 in his comeback innings, which was also his first on home soil, and also made a half-century in the second innings.

He made his fourth Test century in the following match of the series, scoring 118 off 176 balls and helping his side to seal a draw. After he suffered a concussion during the second Test of Pakistan’s following series against Sri Lanka, he was subbed out of the side halfway through the match and replaced by Rizwan. Rizwan made a half-century, and was one of few Pakistan players to emerge in credit following a disappointing World Cup campaign.

However, Masood’s comments show that Sarfaraz is still the Test incumbent with the gloves, regardless of the regime change which has taken place over the last month.

Pakistan will begin their series against Australia, whom they haven’t won a Test against away from home since 1995, at Perth on December 14. They will play three Test matches in the series, which concludes on January 7.

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