Pakistan vs New Zealand: PCB announces the 12-man squad for the third Test
Abbas has been ruled out of this Test with a shoulder injury.
Updated - Dec 2, 2018 3:21 pm
After two contrasting Test matches between Pakistan and New Zealand, the action shifts to the decider which is set to commence on Monday. The series is locked at 1-1 and returning to Abu Dhabi might have rejuvenated the Kiwis who won the series opener at the same venue. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the 12-man squad for the third and final match of the series as Shaheen Afridi is set to make his Test debut.
Mohammad Abbas injured his shoulder during the second Test in Dubai and has been already ruled out of this encounter. Shaheen will replace him in the playing XI after impressing in the limited-overs leg of the tour. He was the one who the visitors couldn’t decode during the ODIs and T20Is and will be looking to make a similar sort of impact.
Pakistan might play three seamers
The renowned Cricket Statistician Mazher Arshad revealed the news on his official Twitter handle confirming that Shaheen Afridi will make his debut in the whites. Faheem Ashraf has also been included in the trimmed 12-man group which opens up a situation where Pakistan might play three seamers depending on the pitch. It could not be a bad idea as the ball reverses a lot in Abu Dhabi and the pitch breaks up a little late.
With Yasir Shah in great form, they might not need the extra spinner in Bilal Asif and even Mohammad Hafeez can roll his arm over if needed. Also, Bilal hasn’t been consistent after picking up a five-wicket haul against Australia. The rest of the line-up remains unchanged with the batsmen in amazing form.
Hafeez needs to get some runs with the bat now as his bat has gone quiet after a scintillating comeback in the first Test of the previous series. The likes of Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, and Asad Shafiq are expected to score runs in the middle-order while Sarfraz will also be hoping to make his presence felt with the bat.
Pakistan’s 12-man squad: Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Bilal Asif, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Faheem Ashraf.