Khurram Shahzad’s absence from Australia Test series adds twist to Aus vs Pak 2023-24 cricket rivalry

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Pace bowler Khurram Shahzad is out of the rest of the Test series in Australia due to a rib stress fracture and abdominal muscle tear. Shahzad reported side soreness while bowling on debut in the first Test in Perth and scans revealed the fracture in his left 10th rib, ruling him out for the Melbourne and Sydney matches. The PCB will consult a specialist in Australia before establishing a final management protocol for Shahzad, who will then return to the NCA in Lahore for injury management and rehabilitation.
Shahzad’s absence adds to Pakistan’s growing bowling injury issues, with Naseem Shah ruled out of the tour and legspinner Abrar Ahmed also struggling with discomfort. His replacement Noman Ali, the left-arm spinner, has also sustained a finger injury, with Sajid Khan flown in as cover. Pakistan has Hasan Ali and Mohammad Wasim Jnr available as potential replacements for Shahzad. Pakistan will play a two-day game against a Victorian XI side at the Junction Oval starting December 22 in an attempt to regroup after being beaten by 360 runs in Perth.

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