Saud names alternatives for Khurram, talks Melbourne pitch and batting plan

Khurram Shahzad has been ruled out of the Test series against Australia due to a stress fracture in his left 10th rib, as well as an abdominal muscle tear.

Expressing sympathy for Shahzad’s unfortunate injury, batsman Saud Shakeel mentioned alternatives such as Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali, who possess the capability to secure crucial wickets in the upcoming Melbourne Test.

“He bowled really well, he had a big job coming here. I’m really sad for him that he got injured,” Shakeel told reporters on Thursday.

“That’s part of the game. We have a couple of other bowlers as well – Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali – and they can get good wickets in this Melbourne Test,” he added.

Reflecting on the challenging conditions faced in the first Test, where he contributed scores of 28 and 24, Shakeel emphasized the need for a more positive batting approach. He urged the team to adopt an aggressive stance, playing attacking shots to accumulate runs and exert pressure on the opposition.

“We just need to be more positive with our batting approach and just play some attacking shots to get runs and put them under pressure,” said Shakeel.

Analyzing the characteristics of the Melbourne pitch, Shakeel expressed optimism, noting that compared to the bouncy Perth surface, the Melbourne pitch is expected to be more favorable for batting.

“The Perth pitch has got the maximum bounce. I think this pitch will suit us … The matches in Melbourne I’ve seen, it’s not (as) hard to bat on,” he said.

Recognizing the formidable Australian bowling attack and the mental challenges associated with playing in their home conditions, Shakeel stressed the importance of the team collectively stepping up to the challenge and putting runs on the board.

“When you come to Australia they’ve got good experience, they have a quality attack. When you’re playing in their home conditions it’s more of a mental challenge than physical. As a team … we have to go out there and score runs,” he concluded.