Test Match

Pakistan’s strategy: Changes in quest for success in Australia

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Reports suggest that uncapped Saim Ayub will be included in the squad in place of poor opener Imam-ul-Haq, while mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed will make his first appearance in the series after injury.

A report published by the Press Trust of India on Sunday said 21-year-old Saim, who has played 14 first-class matches and hit three centuries, is in the race to replace Imam, whose “slow batting has been criticized in Pakistan is”. informed.

Pakistan lost the opening Test in Perth by 360 runs and then lost by 79 runs in the second match of the three-match series in Melbourne.

Abrar was missing from both matches, having been ruled out ahead of the first Test after experiencing leg problems during the tour match against the Prime Minister’s XI.

During the match, Abrar bowled a total of 27 overs against the Prime Minister’s XI and ultimately conceded 80 runs while taking the wicket of Marcus Harris.

However, according to ESPN, Cricinfo, Abrar is expected to be fully fit in time for the final Test after the 25-year-old “played a significant amount of time in the nets during Pakistan’s training on Monday without any apparent discomfort, but that is his nature.” An injury is no guarantee for his participation.”

The report added that part of the problem Abrar was concerned about was due to a pinched nerve in his right leg and muscle weakness. He also received injections as part of his treatment. But Pakistan will wait to see how he feels and whether he can take part in the final Test will depend on whether he experiences any significant pain or discomfort in the coming hours.

Abrar has played six Tests since making his debut against England in December 2022. But 11 wickets in his first Test and 38 in total have further strengthened his position and made him a crucial asset to the team in the red-ball format.

If Abrar cannot play, off-spinner Sajid Khan, who was brought in as reinforcement after Abrar’s injury problem, will be selected in place of pacer Hasan Ali.

Meanwhile, Australian selectors have resisted the temptation to inject new blood after the series is already over.

Australia will not be without speedster Lance Morris in the third Test against Pakistan and will stick with the same 13-man squad for Sydney.

Selectors confirmed on Sunday there would be no changes to the winning side in Melbourne as they target a 3-0 winless run at the SCG from Wednesday.

This means Scott Boland remains in the expanded squad as the fourth fast bowler, while all-rounder Cameron Green is also part of the squad.

Morris was considered a long shot to make his debut this summer, but if it has to happen it will be against the West Indies after he was forced to continue playing in the Big Bash League.

Coach Andrew McDonald had said on Saturday that his team of fast bowlers had competed well after the win at the MCG, with a four-day gap between Tests.

Selectors expect a major tender in the next fortnight, with a decision on replacing the retiring David Warner for the first Test against the West Indies in Adelaide from January 17.

Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Matt Renshaw top the list of early players in contention, while the selectors have not ruled out tapping Green for the role or bringing another player higher up the rankings.

“The NSP have kept the same team from Melbourne to Sydney because we want to win the Test series cleanly,” said chief selector George Bailey. “We look forward to celebrating David Warner’s final Test match and his incredible career in his home country.”

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