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Sarfaraz Ahmed upbeat for tough challenge in Australia Tests

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CANBERRA: Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is ready to face the challenges that lay ahead in the upcoming four-day game against Australian Prime Minister XI.

Sarfaraz Ahmed while talking to the media, recalled the inspiring innings of Chris Gayle at Manuka Oval and stressed the importance of the match against PM XI.

“I remember watching Chris Gayle’s incredible innings of 200 runs against Zimbabwe at Manuka Oval. Now, as we brace ourselves for a four-day clash in Canberra against Australia, the weather seems to be good,” said Sarfaraz Ahmed.

“This match holds an immense significance as it kickstarts the three-match test series against the formidable Australian team.”

Expressing his confidence, Sarfaraz highlighted the strength of the Pakistani lineup.

“Australia boasts good batters, but we are no less. With Abdullah, Babar, Imam, Saud, and Agha in our ranks, we are well-equipped for the challenge,” he declared.

Sarfaraz further praised the quality of Pakistan’s bowlers in the Test squad.

“Shaheen and Hasan are exceptional, and we have the likes of Mir Hamza, Khurram Shehzad, and Fahim, who have proven their mettle in domestic competitions.”

The former captain then took a moment to extend his congratulations to the newly-appointed Test captain Shan Masood and acknowledged his leadership.

“It’s always an honour to lead your country, and I want to congratulate Shan Masood for his role,” said the wicketkeeper batter.

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“The camaraderie between Babar Azam, Muhammad Hafeez, and Shan Masood is a testament to the strong bond within our camp.”

Sarfaraz Ahmed concluded with the humble mention that he is ready to play any role for the team in Australia.

“I am happy to play any role – whether as a batter or a wicket-keeper – in contributing to the success of the team.”

Pakistan and Australia will square off in the first Test match in Perth from 14-18 December 2023.

The second Test match will be played in Melbourne, from 26 to 30 December, while Sydney will host the last game of the tour from 3 to 7 January 2024.

Pakistan squad

Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Australia squad

David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Cameron Green, Lance Morris

READ: Temba Bavuma to miss white-ball matches against India

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