Pakistan, under newly-appointed red-ball captain Shan Masood, will play three Tests on the tour, in Perth (December 14-18), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).
The 21-year-old Ayub has already played eight T20Is for Pakistan, and comes into the Test team with 1069 first-class runs at an average of 46.47, including scores of 203 and 109 in his most recent game in October, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final. Shahzad has also been picked on form, having ended the 2023-24 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy as its top wicket-taker with 36 at an average 20.30.
Both wicketkeepers Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan were part of the squad, with Sarfaraz understood to be first choice. He replaced Rizwan in the Test side last year, and has retained his place in the last four Tests across two series.
Abrar Ahmed’s selection further cements his place as Pakistan’s premier red-ball spinner, with Noman Ali chosen as his back-up option. Spin options across formats have been a matter of intense scrutiny in Pakistan, with legspinners Shadab Khan and Usama Mir turning in disappointing performances through the World Cup. Abrar went to the World Cup as a reserve player, but was not called up to the main squad.
Pakistan have an unenviable record in Australia, having lost their last 14 Test matches on the bounce there.
Pakistan squad for Australia Test series: Shan Masood (capt), Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Agha Salman, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi