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Wednesday 7th of December 2022 11:30 PM

Hafeez included in Pakistan squad for Australia Tests

Probashbangla24 online Desk : Pakistan will be sending Mohammad Hafeez to Dubai for the two-match Test series against Australia, commencing from October 7, on “the first possible flight”, the spokesperson for the country’s cricket board said on Monday (October 1).

Since his axing from the Asia Cup squad, the 37-year-old all-rounder returned to domestic cricket and has been putting up performances.

In his most recent first-class match for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited against Peshawar, he scored a double-century and picked up four wickets to help his side win the contest by an innings and 105 runs. Hafeez has also been in form with the ball as his off-spin has garnered him 12 wickets in three matches at an average of 15.58.

“The national selection committee and team management have decided to include Hafeez for two-match Test series against Australia,” the PCB spokesperson said. Hafeez’s last outing in whites for Pakistan was during the four-match Test series in England in 2016. He failed to leave a mark during the series as he scored 102 runs in six innings – including two ducks – before being dropped for the last Test at The Oval.

Pakistan’s selection for the recently concluded Asia Cup, in which they were beaten twice by India and were knocked out by Bangladesh in the last Super 4 game, was heavily criticised. Pakistan had included only two specialist spinners and put as many as six pacers for a tournament in the UAE where wickets are slow and tend to assist spinners. The exclusion of Hafeez was the focal point of every discussion throughout the tournament.

Hafeez’s Test batting average goes up by 13.53 runs to 52.75 in the UAE from his overall average. But, his bowling numbers are not that impressive there. He averages 39, almost five runs more than his overall, with the ball in his hand and his strike rate also jumps up to 90.66 from 76.

After the first Test in Dubai, the two teams will meet for the second game in Abu Dhabi from October 16 before playing a three-match T20I series.

Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas , Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez

(Cricbuzz)

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