Pakistan will be without the services of their star ace batsman, Babar Azam once again for the first Test match as he hasn’t recovered from a fracture thumb that he got after arriving in the country.
Babar Azam, the star and top-ranked Pakistani batsmen, who has been appointed as the full-time captain of the Pakistan cricket team just before arriving to the tour, has been ruled out of the first Test match as he hasn’t recovered fully of a thumb injury. Imam ul Haq, who also got a thumb fracture after arriving in New Zealand, has also been ruled out of the first Test match. In the absence of Babar, Mohammad Rizwan has been named as the captain for the first Test.
When did the injuries happened?
After landing in New Zealand, Pakistan team had to bear many jolts. Firstly, their players were tested positive with the Covid-19. Then they received a final warning from the New Zealand government for breaching the protocols and with one more breach would be sent home. After that coach, Misbah ul Haq admitting to pull out from the tour. And when all their squad were allowed to train after negative tests, first Imam ul Haq fractured his left thumb in training sessions in Queenstown and then a day later, their captain and top-ranked batsman, Babar Azam fractured his right thumb. And since then, both haven’t taken any part in nets.
What did the coach say?
Misbah ul Haq, who has had a tough start to his coaching career, has spoken after the team management has announced the squad for the first Test. He said,
“Although it will be nearly two weeks to Babar’s injury when the first Test starts, it will be hard on him and the team to play him without any net sessions. I remain confident and optimistic that other players will rise to the occasion in Mount Maunganui and use the opportunity to rise to the occasion and put the disappointment of the T20I series behind them.”
What will Pakistan do without Babar?
It will be tough for Pakistan to be without their star batsman as the team also suffered heavily in the T20I series. Immediately after the injury, Babar was ruled out of the T20I series and Shadab Khan was made the captain. And so far Pakistan have lost both the games and the vacant position of Babar at the top has been heavily missed.
In the first Test match, Mohammad Rizwan has been named as the captain. Rizwan had done well in the past and has cemented his place somewhat dislodging Sarfraz Ahmed from the contention. Rizwan was the man of the series in the tour of England where he outperformed other batsmen in tough conditions.
Pakistan has announced the squad for the first Test;
Mohammad Rizwan (capt), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah.
Pakistan will desperately hope that Babar would make a speedy recovery and might be available for the second Test match and with the comeback of Kane Williamson, New Zealand will be full-strengthened squad against the touring Pakistani group. The first Test match will begin on December 26 at Mount Maunganui.
1st Test Match: 26-30 December, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
2nd Test Match: 3-7 January, Hagley Oval, Christchurch