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Crucial Pakistan players may be rested for two-Test series with Bangladesh

Pakistan’s Test captain, Shan Masood (left) and Pakistan’s white-ball captain, Babar Azam (right) – AFP/File

Pakistan is set to host Bangladesh in August for a two-Test series as Captain Shan Masood, head coach Jason Gillespie and the selection committee have begun discussions related to the squad, as revealed by the sources on Wednesday. 

However, some crucial players may miss the series.

This will be the first time since 2019-2020 that the country will host Bangladesh. Moreover, the series will form a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-2025.

It is likely that the current white-ball skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi will be rested for the Test matches against Bangladesh whereas Haris Rauf’s inclusion in the squad is not even being considered.

Saud Shakeel, Abdullah Shafique, Salman Ali Agha and former skipper and wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed are being considered for the final squad.

As for the fast bowling department, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mir Hamza, Khurram Shahzad and Aamir Jamal are under consideration for selection.

This series will be Gillespie’s first assignment as head coach of the Pakistan Test team after his appointment in April and Masood’s second assignment after his appointment later last year. He first led the side against Australia in a three-Test series which Pakistan lost 3-0 in Australia.

Masood is currently representing and captaining the Yorkshire County Cricket Club in the County Championship.

Pakistan were knocked out of the ongoing T20 World Cup in the initial group stage, whereas Bangladesh have qualified for the Super 8. 

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