Babar Azam nicknames Saud Shakeel as 'Chota Don' during training session

As the team engaged in slip-catching drills, Babar added a touch of humor to the session, playfully assigning the nickname to Shakeel after the left-handed batter skillfully caught a ball.

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Babar Azam. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Star Pakistan batter Babar Azam was heard calling Saud Shakeel 'Chota Don' (Little Don) on the first day of their training camp at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium ahead of their upcoming Test series against Australia. The two sides will square off in three Test matches with the first game starting from December 14 in Perth. 

As the team engaged in slip-catching drills, Babar added a touch of humor to the session, playfully assigning the nickname to Shakeel after the left-handed batter skillfully caught a ball. The term 'Chota' humorously draws inspiration from the character portrayed by Rajpal Yadav in the Indian film 'Partner,' with the nickname playfully referencing the character's petite stature.

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Apart from the cheerful banter, the former Pakistan captain was observed participating in warm-up exercises, embarking on a brisk jog around the ground alongside Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan. Despite stepping down from his captaincy role, the 29-year-old batter demonstrated a committed attitude, concentrating on honing his batting abilities in nets.

Following the training session, Umar Gul, Pakistan's fast-bowling coach, shared insights with the media regarding Pakistan's preparations for the upcoming Australia tour.
 
"Today was our first day of training. We are preparing for Australian conditions, and just like the pitches we will encounter there, our team management and groundsmen have prepared pitches here specifically according to those requirements. Our main focus is to start practicing based on the conditions there," Gul was quoted as saying by cricketpakistan.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expanded the camp roster by adding three more pacers, Sameen Gul, Ali Shafique, and Muhammad Ali. Wahab Riaz, Pakistan's chief selector, had previously disclosed the inclusion of a total of seven additional players in the training camp when he unveiled the 18-member Test squad for the Australia tour. This supplementary group comprises Arshad Iqbal, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usama Mir, and Usman Qadir.

Moreover, pace bowler Shahnawaz Dahani has been deemed unfit to bowl, leading the PCB to decide to send him to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation for a qucik recovery process.

Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), 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.

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