Australia Names Unchanged XI for Boxing Day Test Against Pakistan, While Pakistan Makes One Change

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The Australian national cricket team has decided to maintain its winning combination for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The hosts have opted not to make any changes to the XI that secured a comprehensive victory in Perth. This means that Victorian fast bowler Scott Boland will have to wait for his chance to play in front of his home crowd.

On the other hand, Pakistan is expected to make at least two changes to its lineup following the loss in the previous match. The team has dropped wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed after his disappointing performances in Perth, replacing him with Mohammad Rizwan. Off-spinner Sajid Khan is also set to join the squad, with Noman Ali and Abrar Ahmed sidelined due to injuries. Agha Salman’s effectiveness with spin in Perth was limited, leading to the need for a change in the bowling attack. With Khurram Shahzad also nursing an injury, either Mir Hamza or Hasan Ali is likely to step in.

Pakistan captain Shan Masood explained the decision to drop Sarfaraz, stating that the team believes Rizwan is ready to take on the role and that Sarfaraz could benefit from a break to regroup and return stronger. Masood emphasized that the decision was tactical, based on the conditions and the team’s strategy to utilize players optimally.

Meanwhile, Australian captain Pat Cummins expressed confidence in Scott Boland’s abilities, hinting that the fast bowler will have a role to play later in the series. Cummins acknowledged the challenges of maintaining a consistent bowling lineup over a long Test series but assured that Boland is prepared to step in if needed.

The squads for the upcoming Test are as follows:

Australia XI:

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

The second Test between Australia and Pakistan is scheduled to begin at the MCG on Tuesday after 10.30 am AEDT.

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