In what comes as yet another injury blow to Pakistan Cricket Team, leg-spinner Shadab Khan has been ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zeland, starting on Boxing Day (December 26) at the Bay Oval in Mount Manganui.
Shadab, who led the T20I team in the absence of regular skipper Babar Azam, picked up a thigh injury during Pakistan’s consolation victory in the third match of the recently-concluded rubber.
He will undergo MRI scans in Tauranga on Thursday, post which the extent of his injury and his potential return to the set-up. Khan has joined the duo of Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq in the injury list.
With Shadab Khan not available for selection, Pakistan have added left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar in their squad for the first ICC Test Championship Test. Gohar, who was a part of the Pakistan Shaheens squad for the 5-match T20 series, was the third highest wicket-taker in the 2019-20 edition of the Qaid-e-Azam Trophy- 38 wickets including five 4-wicket-hauls and one five-for.
Meanwhile, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has provided a positive update on Babar Azam’s injury status. Azam, who missed out from featuring in the 3-match T20I series due to a broken thumb, is likely to make a return for the second Test. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan will lead the Test team in Babar Azam’s absence.
Pakistan squad for the 1st Test vs New Zealand-
Mohammad Rizwan [captain for 1st Test], Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, and Zafar Gohar.