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Shadab Khan out of Boxing Day Test due to injury; Zafar Gohar added in Pakistan squad
Pakistan News

Shadab Khan out of Boxing Day Test due to injury; Zafar Gohar added in Pakistan squad

Shadab Khan has been ruled out of Pakistan's first Test against New Zealand owing to a thigh injury, prompting the inclusion of Zafar Gohar as his replacement.

Shadab recently captained Pakistan during their 2-1 defeat to New Zealand in the T20I series where he scored 46 runs and remained wicketless across the three innings.

The 22-year-old all-rounder had earlier missed Pakistan's home series against Zimbabwe due to a groin injury, which posed questions over his availability for the limited-overs fixtures in New Zealand.

He was able to recover in time and serve as Pakistan's stand-in skipper in the absence of injured Babar Azam, who will also not be available for selection for the Boxing Day Test in Mount Maunganui.

"Shadab will now undergo MRI scans in Tauranga on Thursday, following which a further update on the exact nature of the injury and time needed to return to competitive cricket will be provided," the PCB said in a statement.

It is unlikely that Pakistan would have gone with two leg-spinners in Shadab and Yasir Shah for the Test match, although the former did well with the bat in his solitary Test appearance during the England tour.

Shadab's replacement, Zafar has joined the Test team from Hamilton where he was undergoing preparations for Pakistan Shaheens' T20 encounters against local and New Zealand XI sides.

Zafar has not played for Pakistan since making his international debut five years ago against England in Sharjah. He emerged as the third-most prolific bowler with 38 wickets in Central Punjab's title-winning campaign in the 2019-20 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

The 25-year-old so far boasts a tally of 144 wickets in 39 first-class games at an average of 28.56.

Zafar is one of the two uncapped players in Pakistan's squad for the first Test after Imran Butt was drafted in to make up for the absence of the injured duo of Babar and Imam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan squad for first Test: Mohammad Rizwan (capt), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar