AUS vs PAK: Australia Name Unchanged XI For Boxing Day Test, Pakistan Drop Sarfaraz Ahmed

AUS vs PAK: Australia Name Unchanged XI For Boxing Day Test, Pakistan Drop Sarfaraz Ahmed

Australia will go ahead in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan with the same XI, while Pakistan are likely to make at least two changes.

Aakash SinghUpdated: Monday, December 25, 2023, 09:38 AM IST
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Australia national cricket team. | (Credits: Twitter)

Australia have stuck with the same XI for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) that won them the match comprehensively in Perth. The hosts have resisted the temptation to bring in Scott Boland, but Pakistan are likely to trigger at least a couple of changes.

Pakistan announced a 12-member squad with Sarfaraz Ahmed dropped after his twin failures in Perth, with Mohammad Rizwan swapped. Off-spinner Sajid Khan is also set to feature, with Noman Ali and Abrar Ahmed both injured as Agha Salman couldn't be that effective with spin in Perth. With Khurram Shahzad also injured, Mir Hamza or Hasan Ali are likely to replace him.

Pakistan captain Shan Masood suggested that they want to give Sarfaraz a break and said, as quoted by cricket.com.au:

"We think Rizwan is ready and we can give Sarfaraz a little bit of a break to recoup and come back. It was more of a tactical decision in terms of the conditions and getting the best out of each player in those conditions."

"He's ready to go if anything happens" - Pat Cummins on Scott Boland

Meanwhile, Pat Cummins stated that Scott Boland will play a part in the series later as Australia are unlikely to stick with same pacers over the entire summer.

"We're a huge fan of Scotty, I don't think that's a secret. It's very rare that you're going to get through seven Test matches with the same (fast) bowling line-up, there's always niggles or things that pop up. He's ready to go if anything happens, so I'm sure he'll play a part at some point."

Australia playing XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Pakistan squad: Imam-Ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamir Jamal, Sajid Khan.

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