Pakistan’s cricket team has made significant changes to their squad for the upcoming Twenty20 international series against Afghanistan, with nine new players called up and several key players rested. According to the latest cricket news, the most notable change is the absence of regular captain Babar Azam, who has been rested, with Shadab Khan taking over the captaincy duties. The three matches of the series are scheduled to be held on March 24, 26, and 27 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Several senior players rested
Along with Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf have also been rested, making way for new talent to take center stage. This decision comes as part of Pakistan’s strategy to groom new players and build strong bench strength for the future. The changes in the squad suggest that the team management is looking for fresh faces to revitalize the team’s performance and gain valuable experience at the international level.
Addressing a Press Conference post the team announcement, Pakistan Cricket Board management committee head Najam Sethi said, “I spoke to all the senior players taking them in confidence about resting them for the Afghanistan series.”
Not the first captaincy stint for Shadab
Shadab Khan, who previously captained Pakistan in three T20Is in New Zealand in December 2020, will once again be leading the team in the upcoming series against Afghanistan, in the absence of Babar Azam. However, Shadab will have to prove his mettle as a captain this time around, having lost the previous series against New Zealand.
The squad for the series against Afghanistan includes several players who have been recalled after a break from international cricket. Imad Wasim, who played the last of his 58 T20Is in November 2021, is back in the squad along with Azam Khan, Abdullah Shafique, and Faheem Ashraf. Azam and Shafique have played only three internationals each, suggesting that the team management is keen to give new talent a chance to prove themselves on the international stage.
Inclusion of fresh faces in the team
The squad also includes some exciting newcomers, such as 20-year-old batsman Saim Ayub and 29-year-old Tayyab Tahir, who will be looking to make a mark in their first international appearance for Pakistan. The team’s fast bowling department has been boosted by the inclusion of Ihsanullah and Zaman Khan, who are just 20 and 21 years old, respectively.
This bilateral series between Pakistan and Afghanistan promises to be an exciting contest, as the two teams have never faced each other in a bilateral series before. Both teams will be looking to perform well and gain valuable experience ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup later this year. Fans of both teams will be eagerly anticipating the series, hoping for some memorable performances from their favorite players. Stay tuned to Cricadium for all the updates, match prediction, and fantasy tips related to PAK vs AGF.
Squad: : Shadab Khan (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan