Pakistan’s captain and premier batsman, Babar Azam, has been ruled out of the New Zealand T20Is.
The captain fractured his thumb during training and is now out of action for twelve days.
Out of action for twelve days puts an end to his hopes of coming for the T20Is.
There are three T20s scheduled, and the games start on December 18th.
The tour is then followed by a Test series, for which Babar Azam is likely to return to play.
Babar Azam picked up the injury while taking throwdowns during practice.
Scans revealed a fracture, and the result prompted rest and rehabilitation for recovery.
Babar Azam’s recovery will be monitored as Pakistan look to have him back for the first Test on December 26th.
He has been announced as the ODI captain earlier this year and Test captain just recently.
The New Zealand tour will be a nice challenge for Pakistan’s new Test captain, who has made some tremendous strides in recent years.
He recently led his Pakistan Super League side, Karachi Kings, to the title, after match-winning contributions in the playoffs.
He is a fantastic T20 batsman and is currently ranked number two in the format.
His loss will be a blow to the side but may allow new players to step up in their captain’s absence.
In place of Babar Azam, Shadab Khan will be leading Pakistan.
Shadab Khan remains a doubtful starter, as he is yet to recover from a groin injury that kept him out of the Zimbabwe series.
The injury has not fully healed yet.
A final call on his participation will be made as the game approaches.
Pakistan is still confident of his return for the T20s.
If Shadab Khan is also ruled out, Pakistan may need to look for other stand-in options.
They have some experienced heads in the sides, like Mohammad Hafeez, leaving them with several potential options.
Pakistan may feel hurt losing their captain and star T20 batsman.
They will see who replaces him, as Hafeez remains the frontrunner to move up the order.
Hafeez may come up with the order, as Pakistan includes a new lower-order hitter.
Hafeez is one of the most experienced players in the Pakistan side and has batted at various positions throughout his career.
He has played 96 T20s and leads Pakistan for a considerable part of his career.
In case he is called up to lead or bat up the order, it will be a role he is used to.
Other injuries in the side are to Test player, Imam-ul-Haq.
He has also broken his finger and is advised to rest twelve days.
He is not taking part in the warm-up match against New Zealand A.
The injuries are the latest addition to the issues Pakistan has faced on tour.
On arriving in New Zealand, some players tested positive for Covid-19.
There have been protocol breaches, and the quarantine was extended as more players tested positive.
The situation went to the extent of New Zealand looking to deport Pakistan if there were any more breaches.
The players have now recovered, as there have also been no more cases on the Pakistan side.
The extended quarantine, however, didn’t allow Pakistan to train during the quarantine.
Typically training facilities are provided during the quarantine in an isolated area.
Due to the increase in cases, the squad had to undergo a strict quarantine.
With players not getting much practice during the break, they may feel a little rusty as the first T20 begins.
New Zealand, on the other hand, has made some changes to their side.
They dropped Ross Taylor, and Lockie Ferguson is out injured.
Few seniors are making their way back, and the side has received reasonable game time coming into the series.