Babar Azam, the talented right-handed batsman from Pakistan, is gearing up for the upcoming Test series against Australia by actively participating in red-ball practice sessions. His dedication is noteworthy, especially considering the recent change in his role within the team.
Following Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the ICC World Cup 2023, where the team suffered an unprecedented five losses, Babar Azam made the decision to step down from the captaincy across all formats.
Despite this setback, the 29-year-old cricketer remains a crucial part of the team and has been included in the 18-man squad chosen by the newly-appointed chief selector, Wahab Riaz. Azam’s commitment to honing his skills was evident as he showcased various shots in a training video, with his “cover drive” standing out as a particular highlight—a shot that he has mastered over the course of his career.
During the Test series against Australia, Shan Masood will lead the Pakistani team in Babar Azam’s absence. The series is set to kick off on December 14 in Perth. The squad, under Masood’s leadership, features players such as Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafiq, Abrar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, among others.
To prepare for the series, the squad will convene for a training camp in Rawalpindi from November 22 to November 28 at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. Subsequently, the team is scheduled to depart for Australia on November 30.
In addition to the named squad, several other players have been invited to participate in the training camp. This includes Arshad Iqbal, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usama Mir, and Usman Qadir. It’s worth noting that despite assurances from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding workload management, fast bowler Haris Rauf has opted not to travel to Australia due to fitness concerns.