Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been ruled out of the second Test match against New Zealand that begins on Sunday in Christchurch.
Babar has not yet recovered from his injury and the team management did not want to aggrevate the injury by playing him. He did, however, take part in the net session on Friday.
“Babar is still not confident 100 percent that he is fit for the Test match and I know he will never take a chance unless he is completely sure he has full match fitness,” stand-in-skipper Mohammad Rizwan said on the eve of the match on Saturday.
Babar had sustained a thumb fracture last month in Queenstown during a practise session and will now return home without having played a single match in New Zealand.
In his absence in the first test, Pakistan put up a gallant fight but lost the game in the final session with just four overs to go in the match.
Babar’s absence a big blow for Pakistan, says Rizwan
“Babar’s absence is a big blow as he is a key player but the series is still not over for us and we can still win this test and level the series if we play well and to our strength,” Rizwan who got fighting half centuries in both innings in the first Test said.
Rizwan added that after winning the last match of the T20 series, Pakistan had gained some momentum and they carried it into the Test series.
“We fought hard in the first Test and the players are pretty confident about doing well here as well. The last match of a tour is always very important and we want to end the tour on a winning note,” he added.
Last week, Imam-ul-Haq had been sent back home with a similar injury. Pakistan are down 1-0 in the two-match Test series and will hope to level it before heading back home.
Squad for Christchurch Test:
Mohammad Rizwan (captain, wicketkeeper), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar.