Pakistan under Shan Masood Monday rested experienced stumper Sarfaraz Ahmed and replaced him with Mohammad Rizwan for the second match of the three-Test series against Australia.
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Some on social media were dissatisfied with the decision, but Masood claimed it was made in accordance with Australian conditions. We chose Rizwan based on conditions. At a media engagement in Melbourne, the captain informed journalists, “We rested Sarfaraz, so calling him a drop is harsh.”
Masood, who replaced Babar Azam as national long-form cricket captain, said the veteran stumper would be picked when conditions allow.
“We think Rizwan is ready and we can give Sarfaraz a little bit of a break to recoup and come back,” Masood said.
“It was more of a tactical decision in terms of the conditions and getting the best out of each player in those conditions.”
Masood stated the batsmen needed to score faster since the team was playing 100 overs. He said Test matches are harder for quick bowlers. After Perth, quick bowler Khurram Shahzad and their two top spinners, Abrar Ahmed and Noman Ali, were sidelined for Melbourne.
Ahmed and speedster Faheem Ashraf were dropped from the 12-man roster. Mir Hamza, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and promising rookie Aamer Jamal will compete for Shahzad’s spot in the attack. Mohammad Nawaz will handle the gloves. With Ahmed and Ali out, Sajid Khan is their only spinner.