Pakistan spin-bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan has been advised a six-week rest following MRI scans, which confirmed an injury to his left thigh. Shadab, who missed the ongoing opening Test of the ICC World Test Championship series against New Zealand, has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour and will also miss the upcoming home Tests against South Africa. He was diagnosed with a “high grade full thickness tear to the Rectus Femoris muscle", an injury which he had sustained during the final T20I against New Zealand in Napier earlier this week.
“The MRI reports have confirmed it is a fresh injury and not the one that had sidelined him from the Zimbabwe series last month," said Sohail Saleem, the Pakistan team doctor.
“The latest injury will be treated conservatively and Shadab will undergo a six-week rehabilitation programme during which he will have weekly ultrasound scans. After completion of the six-week period, the medical panel will access and evaluate the injury before making a call on Shadab’s return to competitive cricket," he added.
Pakistan will play the new year’s Test from 3 January onwards against New Zealand and will host South Africa for a two-Test and three-match T20I series from 26 January to 14 February.
Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was within sight of his 23rd test century after he rebuilt the home side’s innings and guided them to a solid 222-3 at the end of the opening day of the first test against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.
Williamson, who missed the last test against West Indies as he awaited the birth of his first child, was on 94 at Bay Oval with Henry Nichols on 42 as New Zealand battled for much of the day against Pakistan’s disciplined and accurate bowling attack.
The 30-year-old Williamson combined with Ross Taylor (70) in a 120-run partnership to resurrect the innings after Shaheen Afridi vindicated stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan’s decision to bowl first on the grassy wicket.
Shaheen snapped up Tom Latham (four) and Tom Blundell (five) to reduce the hosts to 13-2 inside the first 45 minutes.
New Zealand’s batsmen were unable to get into their comfort zone as the bowlers constantly challenged them, inducing false shots and edges that flew agonisingly close to fielders.
Williamson and Nicholls, who was dropped on six at fine leg, drove the side through to stumps with their unbroken 89-run partnership, although the captain had a slice of luck when dropped on 86 by Haris Sohail in the slips off Shaheen.