Masood to lead Pakistan in Australia Test series

Pakistan veteran Shan Masood replaces Babar Azam as Pakistan's Test captain, beginning with the tour to Australia

Pakistan have named their squad to face Australia in three Tests this summer, marking Shan Masood's first series as red-ball captain.

Less than a week into the job, Masood was handed the reins following Babar Azam's decision to step down from captaincy of all three formats after Pakistan's disappointing World Cup campaign.

It was one of many changes of leadership undertaken by the Pakistan Cricket Board this week, with Shaheen Shah Afridi getting the T20 captaincy, Mohammad Hafeez replacing Mickey Arthur as team director and Wahab Riaz stepping in as chief selector, filling the role left by Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Nauman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi

Pakistan's 18-player squad features only five who toured Australia for the 2019-20 series which the hosts won 2-0.

They are Masood, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

There are three uncapped players in the squad; opening batter Saim Ayub, fast bowler Khurram Shahzad and bowling allrounder Aamer Jamal.

Shahzad has been drafted in as the list of absent fast bowlers continues to grow: Haris Rauf made himself unavailable for the tour which follows injuries to young quicks Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain. 

"He (Rauf) gave his consent, but later he changed his mind because he was worried about his fitness and the workload," Riaz told reporters in Lahore.

"His absence will affect the team combination."

The series begins in Perth on December 14, before heading to Melbourne and Sydney.

It's been a wretched run for Pakistan on Australian soil of late, losing their past 14 Tests on dating all the way back to 1999.