Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s stand-in captain, has all but confirmed that the visitors will make changes for the second Test against New Zealand commencing on 3rd January in Christchurch.
Pakistan lost the first Test at the Bay Oval by 101 runs. While New Zealand thoroughly deserved the victory – they bowled and batter better than their opposition – however, Pakistan has only themselves to blame as they dropped catches and threw away wickets playing rash shots.
The openers failed to give a strong start to their side – both the openers fell for a duck in the second innings. Haris Sohail’s single-digit scores in both innings could mean that the left-hander is replaced by youngster Imran Butt or former captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed.
As quoted by Cricket Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan said, “We have thought of making changes for the second Test. We will sit down with the team management and decide, but there are going to be changes.”
“The last match of any tour is very important. The series is still alive and all players are confident of giving their best. We have an opportunity to level the series by winning the next Test,” he added.
Babar Azam needs more time to get fit: Mohammad Rizwan
Unfortunately, for Pakistan, the inclusion of their regular skipper and talismanic batsman, Babar Azam is not one of the changes set to happen in the second Test. Babar is still feeling a slight pain in his thumb and is ruled out of the next game after missing the T20I series and the first Test.
Mohammad Rizwan revealed that Babar is yet to gain 100 percent fitness, and they have decided not to risk him ahead of the home series against South Africa. The wicket-keeper opines that Babar’s absence will mean an opportunity for someone else to step up.
“Babar wants to represent Pakistan when he is 100 percent fit. He needs some more time to get fit and will be available for the South African series. His absence will certainly be felt, but it provides an opportunity for other players to perform like Fawad Alam did in the first Test. Once Babar will be back, we will have a good combination,” Mohammad Rizwan further said.