Chrischurch, Jan 2 : Wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan will lead Pakistan in the second Test against New Zealand starting here on Sunday after captain Babar Azam was ruled out with pain in his thumb.
Azam had fractured his right thumb during a net practice session during the build up to the T20 series against New Zealand that started on December 18.
“We have seen improvement in Babar Azam’s injury but he is yet to fully recover,” team doctor Sohail Saleem said in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement.
“He is our captain and the most important batsman in the line-up, 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.”
The PCB further said that Azam had a full-fledge training session on Saturday, but felt slight pain in his thumb, following which the team management has opted against fielding him in the second Test.
The team is hoping that Azam would be fit in time for Pakistan’s home series against South Africa.
Pakistan squad: 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, Zafar Gohar