Pakistan cricket team’s upcoming second Test against Australia in Melbourne is set to witness three significant changes, as per sources. Injured pacer Khurram Shahzad, wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf are reportedly out of the XI for the crucial match.

Team management is looking to bring in Mohammad Rizwan to replace Sarfaraz Ahmed behind the stumps, while Faheem Ashraf’s probable replacement, spinner Sajid Khan, is on the cards. Additionally, either Mir Hamza or Hasan Ali is expected to step in for the injured Khurram Shahzad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed’s recent form in Perth was underwhelming, tallying just seven runs across both innings. However, Team Director Mohammad Hafeez defended the player, highlighting his past contributions and stressing the need for continuity rather than making changes based on one match.

Source: Cricinfo

“Yes, he didn’t perform up to expectations as a batsman and keeper. But this doesn’t mean that we should start doubting someone’s skill and saying they can only play in certain conditions,” said Hafeez.

The injury to Khurram Shahzad has dealt a blow to the pace attack of Pakistan against Australia. Shahzad, who displayed promise with five wickets on debut against Australia in Perth, was sidelined due to a stress fracture and an abdominal muscle tear. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is coordinating with specialists in Australia to establish a comprehensive management plan for his recovery.

Pakistan was defeated by a massive 360-run margin against Australia in the first Test, which highlighted their batting vulnerabilities, with the team collapsing for a mere 89 runs in the fourth innings while chasing a daunting target of 450.

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