HomeCricketPakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf pulls out of Australia Test series -...

Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf pulls out of Australia Test series – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Express fast bowler Haris Rauf withdrew from the Pakistan team for the upcoming Test tour of Australia, leading to the inclusion of three uncapped players in the 18-member squad.
Left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub, fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, and all-rounder Amir Jamal earned their maiden call-ups due to their noteworthy performances in recent cricket tournaments.

Despite being initially included in the plans for the three Test matches, Rauf, known for his pace, unexpectedly pulled out on Sunday night, despite confirming his availability just two days prior, according to newly-appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz.

“He (Rauf) gave his consent, but later he changed his mind because he was worried about his fitness and the workload,” Riaz said in Lahore while announcing the squad. “His absence will affect the team combination.”
Riaz revealed that the medical panel of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) assured him of Rauf’s fitness for the upcoming Test matches in Australia.
Despite receiving a clean bill of health, Rauf unexpectedly withdrew from the squad. Riaz, along with team director Mohammad Hafeez, had a discussion with Rauf, but the decision to pull out was made at the last moment, leaving the team management surprised and necessitating the inclusion of new players in the Test tour.
“I was even ready to facilitate him had he not performed in Australia, but he didn’t agree,” Riaz said.
Three front-line fast bowlers — Naseem Shah, Ihsanullah and Mohammad Hasnain — all were ruled out of the tour because of injuries.
The selectors have named Shahzad, a 23-year-old fast bowler, alongside experienced bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali. Jamal, who has represented Pakistan in T20s against England, is in the squad as a seam-bowling allrounder.
Left-arm fast bowler Mir Hamza, boasting 32 wickets from the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, and right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim make a return to the Test squad as Pakistan undergo a revamp following its early exit from the Cricket World Cup in India.
Babar Azam stepped down from the captaincy and left-handed opening batter Shan Masood will lead the Test side in Australia after he was appointed until the end of the World Test Championship cycle of 2023-25.
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in its opening WTC Test series in Sri Lanka, but it will be a huge task for Masood in Testing Australian conditions when Pakistan plays in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
“We have kept the (Australian) pitches in mind and added more pace bowling resources to the team to ensure that the management can be flexible with the team combinations,” Riaz said.
Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and left-arm spinner Noman Ali are the two specialist slow bowlers in the squad.
Pakistan’s team will have a training camp in Rawalpindi starting Thursday before the team flies out to Australia from Lahore on Nov. 30.
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, Mohammad Wasim, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Afridi.
(With AP inputs)

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