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Babar Azam fails to recover, ruled out of second Test against New Zealand
Pakistan News

Babar Azam fails to recover, ruled out of second Test against New Zealand

Pakistan captain Babar Azam will miss the second Test as well after failing to recover from the injury to his right thumb he sustained during a training session before the T20I series.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan will continue to lead the side after making his Test captaincy debut in Mount Maunganui where Pakistan faced a 101-run defeat in a dramatic finish on the fifth day.

Babar engaged in a "full-fledged" training session on Friday in line with the preparations for the Christchurch Test but complained about "slight pain" in his fractured thumb. The team management subsequently decided not to persist with the risk of slotting him in the playing XI for the upcoming match.

“We have seen improvement in Babar Azam's injury but he is yet to fully recover. He is our captain and the most important batsman in the lineup, so we do not want to take any risk," said team doctor Dr Sohail Saleem.

“The medical team is constantly reviewing his injury and we are hopeful he will be available for the home series against South Africa," he added.

Babar was previously ruled out of the T20I series when he received a blow to his thumb while taking throwdowns in Queenstown. Shadab Khan took over the reins of the T20I captaincy in Babar's absence as the team lost the series 2-1.

Shadab himself also picked up a thigh injury that rules him out till the end of South Africa's forthcoming tour of Pakistan.

Another squad member Imam-ul-Haq met a similar fate to that of Babar and was sent back to Pakistan to undergo his rehabilitation for the thumb injury.

Pakistan had roped in the uncapped duo of Imran Butt and Zafar Gohar as replacements for Babar and Shadab respectively. Both of them did not feature in the first Test loss as Pakistan vie to level the series.

Second Test squad: Mohammad Rizwan (capt & wk), 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, Zafar Gohar