Mohammad Rizwan leads Pakistan in first test in New Zealand as injury rules out Babar Azam


Pakistani captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq have been banned from the first test against New Zealand, which started at Mount Maunganui from December 26, while the tour’s selection committee has prolific domestic point scorer Imran Butt in the 17-player mentioned. plow. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement on Monday that Babar broke his right thumb a day after the imam broke his left thumb while training in Queenstown last week. Both have yet to return to the nets, while the team’s medical staff are closely monitoring their progress, PCB said.

“Decisions on their participation in the second test, which begins in Christchurch on January 3, will be made closer to that time,” the statement read.

In the absence of Babar, Mohammad Rizwan will lead the Pakistani side in the first Test. When he plays the coin toss on Saturday, he will become Pakistan’s 33rd captain and lead the squad in the longest format of the game.

24-year-old Imran Butt scored 191 runs in the three running four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches before joining the New Zealand tour company. He topped the charts in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-20 with 934 runs averaging over 62 with four centuries and three half centuries.

Also returning to the Pakistani Test side are Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan and Yasir Shah.

They will replace Abdullah Shafiq, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Usman Qadir and Wahab Riaz who now play five T20 matches against the Pakistani Shaheens against the local and New Zealand XI. sides.

PCB also said Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez will not be in action on the New Zealand tour after the Napier T20I.

Imad will travel to Australia to join Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, while Mohammad Hafeez will return to Pakistan.

The hosts, New Zealand, have already completed the three-game T20I series against Pakistan, with the third game to be played on Tuesday.

Pakistani head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said in a statement: “It is disappointing to lose the T20I range against a well-settled New Zealand party, who have used their resources and conditions to their advantage.

“We need to improve skill and improve our individual and team performance, including in Tuesday’s game, and the sooner we get these lined up the better it will be in terms of player confidence and team results, as 2021 will not be easier as we have two major events.

“Unlike the T20I side, the Test side seems to be quite organized and we have some experienced cricketers in both batting and bowling sections.

“Now that there is some competitive cricket on the tour, I hope we will be a better outfit in the longer version of the game.

Although it will be almost two weeks after Babar’s injury when the first test starts, it will be difficult for him and the team to play him without net sessions.

“I remain confident and optimistic that other players will take the opportunity in Mount Maunganui and take the opportunity to take the opportunity and leave the disappointment of the T20I series behind,” he added.


Pakistani squad for Tests: Mohammad Rizwan (1st Test Captain), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan and Yasir Shah (Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq not available for first test)

Pakistan Shaheens for T20s: Rohail Nazir (captain, wicket-keeper), Abdullah Shafiq, Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Malik

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