Australia, Pakistan finalise playing XI for first Test match in Perth - GulfToday

Australia, Pakistan finalise playing XI for first Test match in Perth


Pat Cummins (R) and Shan Masood pose for a photograph with the Benaud-Qadir Trophy in Perth on Wednesday. AP

Pakistan and Australia announced on Wednesday their playing XI for the first Test match scheduled to begin on Thursday in Perth.

The two teams are in Perth for the opening game of the three-match Benaud-Qadir Trophy. Aamir Jamal and Khurram Shahzad are set to make their Test debut for the Shan Masood-led side.

As expected, Pat Cummins captains Australia in their first international encounter of the summer. The big news is the appointment of Travis Head as the vice-captain of the Australia side. He’ll be the co vice-captain of the team along with the present deputy, Steve Smith.

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Head’s promotion reflects a trust in his abilities, which saw him deliver back-to-back match-winning performances in the semi-final and final of the recent ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

He won Player of the Match for his returns in both these games, as Australia went on to lift the trophy for a record sixth time.

Apart from this, spinner Nathan Lyon comes back to the playing XI for fellow tweaker Todd Murphy in the only change to the Australia XI that took on England in the final match of an epic Ashes series at The Oval.

Australia’s lead spinner had missed international cricketing action after picking up a calf injury against England at the Lord’s in June.

However, he has returned to domestic cricket in recent months, and has featured in the Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield for New South Wales. There weren’t many other surprises for Australia.

David Warner and Usman Khawaja will open the innings as expected. A strong middle-order will comprise of Marnus Labuschagne, Smith, and Head. Mitchell Marsh will take the all-rounder’s role having been preferred over Cameron Green.

Alex Carey is back taking the gloves for Australia in red-ball cricket after Josh Inglis was preferred to him for the majority of Australia’s Cricket World Cup campaign.

Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood will be the fast bowling trio.



Pakistan squad


Shan Masood (captain), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicket-keeper), Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Aamir Jamal, Khurram Shahzad.

Australia squad


Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner

Test series schedule


First Test: December 14-18, Perth Stadium


Second Test: December 26-30, MCG


Third Test: January 3-7, SCG


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