Hobart: After the endless speculation surrounding Kamran Akmal following the debacle at Sydney, Pakistan announced that the wicketkeeper-batsman would not play the final Test of the series against Australia.
Akmal’s disastrous show at Sydney, where he dropped four catches, resulted in him being left out of the side for the first time in 42 Tests and five years. He will be replaced by debutant Sarfaraz Ahmed for the dead-rubber — Australia had clinched the series at Sydney.
Also, Shoaib Malik and Khurram Manzoor will come in the place of out-of-form batsmen Faisal Iqbal and Misbah-ul-Haq. A fit Mohammad Aamer will take Mohammad Sami’s place.
Australia will have some concern with the form of its middle-order. Ricky Ponting has had one of his leanest summers, making just 216 runs at an average of 27.
Marcus North will consider himself lucky to be in the eleven despite a string of poor scores.
The batting line-up has relied on Shane Watson, Simon Katich — who returns for the final Test — and Michael Hussey for runs.
Peter Siddle has the support of his captain, but will look to add to the six wickets he’s managed this summer.
The teams: Australia: Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger.
Pakistan: Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Yousuf (captain), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria and Mohammad Asif.