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Imam-ul-Haq ruled out of second Test, Babar Azam's recovery underway
Pakistan News

Imam-ul-Haq ruled out of second Test, Babar Azam's recovery underway

Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq will fly back to Pakistan on Sunday after being ruled out of the second Test against New Zealand due to his thumb fracture.

Imam was part of the extensive touring contingent for the New Zealand series but sustained a thumb injury during a training session preceding the T20I series that kept him out of the cricket action.

Imam and Pakistan's all-format captain Babar Azam endured finger injuries in Queenstown and were thus rendered unavailable for selection for the first Test in Mount Maunganui.

Pakistan's injury woes have been further compounded by the injury blow to Shadab Khan, who has been advised six weeks rest and is set to miss the home assignment against South Africa next month.

Imam is also expected to take longer to recover than what was initially expected as he will begin his rehabilitation programme in Lahore to get ready for the South Africa series.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's batting ace Babar is said to have made decent progress since he has started practising with the hard ball. Earlier, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq had remarked in the aftermath of the third T20I that Babar had done drills in the nets with a tennis ball.

While a final decision on Babar's availability for the second Test in Christchurch will be made close to the scheduled match, Pakistan would be hoping the 26-year-old will recover full fitness quickly.

Babar is ranked No. 5 in the Test batsmen standings and is the only player present in the top five across all formats in world cricket at the moment.