New Delhi, Jan 2: Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle has shared his thoughts on the surprise exclusion of vice-captain Shaheen Shah Afridi by Pakistan from their playing XI for the third and final Test against Australia.
Bhogle called it a surprise exclusion naming him (Shaheen Shah Afridi) the key bowler of the Pakistan bowling lineup.
"Big call to be without Shaheen Afridi for the Sydney Test. I thought Pakistan's key bowlers would be Shaheen and Abrar but look a bit thin without them. Excited to see Saim Ayub. I've heard a lot about him," Bhogle wrote on X.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan announced their Playing XI for the third and final Test against Australia with left-handed batter Saim Ayub set to make his debut.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi are two major absentees with 21-year-old Saim and 30-year-old Sajid Khan drafted in their places.
Saim, who made his T20I debut in March last year comes to the team on the back of impressive List A performances for Karachi. This will be his first Test match. In the eight T20Is he has played so far, he has scored 123 runs at an average of 17.57.
After a gap of nearly two years, Sajid returned to the Test arena, having last played during Australia's 2022 tour of Pakistan. He has a decent record in Tests with 22 wickets in seven matches. (IANS)