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Composition of Pakistan’s Starting XI for the First Australia Test: 2 Specialized Bowlers and 3 All-Rounders

The Pakistan men’s cricket team has unveiled its playing XI for the First Test match against Australia, a day ahead of the anticipated showdown. Notably, Khurram Shahzad and Aamer Jamal are set to make their Test match debuts, maintaining the same batting order employed in last week’s four-day practice match. Aamer Jamal, an all-rounder, gets the nod, raising eyebrows over the exclusion of Hasan Ali or Mir Hamza. This decision seems peculiar, considering the challenging nature of Australian conditions where being a bowler short could prove costly for the visiting side.

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Unfortunately, Pakistan’s premier spinner, Abrar Ahmed, will miss the match due to an injury. In a surprising move, Noman Ali has been left out for the first match, with the spin bowling responsibilities handed to all-rounder Salman Ali Agha.

Taking a closer look at Salman Agha’s performance in Sri Lankan Tests:

  • Matches: 2
  • Innings: 3
  • Runs: 221
  • Highest Score: 132*
  • 100s: 1
  • 50s: 1
  • Wickets: 3
  • Bowling Average: 21.00
  • Best Bowling In An Inning: 2-39
  • Best Bowling In A Match: 3-57

One notable absentee from the lineup is fast bowler Hasan Ali. Despite expectations that he would be a certain starter after being rested in the practice match, the team management has opted for fast bowlers better suited to the Perth conditions, sidelining the 130ish pace bowler.

With concerns over the spin department, Pakistan is likely to rely on the bowling services of Saud Shakeel. While Australia is not renowned for spin-friendly conditions, the effective use of off-spinner Nathan Lyon by the home team cannot be ignored. In a surprising turn, Pakistani supporters witnessed Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq bowling during the practice match, adding an element of unpredictability to the team’s strategy.

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