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Australia name unchanged Playing XI for second Test against Pakistan

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MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday, confirmed that they will stick with the same Playing XI for the second Test against Pakistan, scheduled to commence on December 26.

Captain Pat Cummins’ decision to field the same Playing XI that won the Perth Test by 360 runs meant hometown hero Scott Boland will miss a Boxing Day recall.

Cummins, however, called him unlucky to miss out and remained hopeful that he may, at some point, play a part for the team.

“We’re a huge fan of Scotty, I don’t think that’s a secret,” Cummins told reporters on Boxing Day eve.

“It’s very rare that you’re going to get through seven Test matches with the same (fast) bowling line-up, there’s always niggles or things that pop up.

“He’s ready to go if anything happens, so I’m sure he’ll play a part at some point.

“The message (to Boland) is always ‘we love what you’re bringing, unfortunately you miss out on this one but don’t change … and stay ready’.”

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Pakistan, on the other hand, named a 12-member squad for the second Test with Mohammad Rizwan replacing Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Notably, Sarfaraz Ahmed had a forgetful outing in the Perth Test where he only managed to score seven runs in the first Test and fell victim to left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc in each of the innings.

The 36-year-old also missed a number of chances behind the stumps which drew massive criticism from the fans.

Sarfaraz Ahmed also failed to prove his batting prowess in the two-day practice match against Victoria XI where he managed the scores of 35 and 10.

Mohammad Rizwan, however, strengthened his selection case by scoring a half-century in the practice match.

Besides this, fast-bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf also failed to retain his spot in Pakistan’s Playing XI, whereas, pacers Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali were named in the 12-member squad.

Australia Playing XI

David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Pakistan squad for second Test

Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi (vc), Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamir Jamal, Sajid Khan.

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