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Babar Azam to Miss Second Test Against New Zealand at Christchurch

Babar had a full-fledge training session yesterday but felt a slight pain in his thumb, following which, the team management has opted against taking any risk.

Babar Azam to Miss Second Test Against New Zealand at Christchurch

Pakistan men’s national team captain Babar Azam will miss the second Test against New Zealand, which commences at the Hagley Oval from Sunday, a PCB release stated today.  In his absence, Mohammad Rizwan will lead the side.

Babar had a full-fledge training session yesterday but felt a slight pain in his thumb, following which, the team management has opted against taking any risk.

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Babar had to sit out the three-T20I series and the first Test, at Mount Maunganui, after he fractured his right thumb during a net session in the lead-up to the white-ball series.

Dr Sohail Saleem: “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.

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

Pakistan also lost opener Imam-ul-Haq for the tour with a fractured thumb while allrounder Shadab Khan was ruled out of the Test series after leading Pakistan in the T20 series which they lost 1-2. Shadab, struggling with a thigh injury, has also been ruled out of the home series against South Africa starting later this month.

Babar, who was named the most valuable player of the year and the white ball cricketer of the year by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday in their annual awards, has been the team's most consistent batsman in all three formats the past year. The Pakistan team coach is also considering shuffling the top order after the continued failure of openers, Shan Masood and Abid Ali who fell for ducks in the second innings of the first Test at the Bay Oval.

Uncapped Imran Butt is being considered to make his debut in Christchurch. Pakistan lost the first Test after an enthralling final day when New Zealand grabbed victory with just four overs remaining in the match.

Pakistan squad for the second Test against New Zealand:

Mohammad Rizwan (captain, wicketkeeper), 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 and Zafar Gohar



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 India 3765 118
3 Australia 3498 113
4 England 4734 108
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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