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Babar, Imam ruled out of NZ Test Series opener

December 23, 2020

Written By,

Payel Gosh

Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq are ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui. Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan will now captain the "Men in Green". He'll be Pakistan’s 33rd Test captain.

Babar Azam fractured his right thumb and Imam fractured his left thumb during their training sessions in Queensland. The duo has indefinitely been ruled out of the 1st Test. However, there is a slight possibility that the duo might return in the 2nd and final Test. As of now, nothing has been corroborated.

Babar Azam has played 29 Test matches in his Test career. In 53 innings, the Pakistani opener has amassed a total of 2045 runs with a career-best 143. Imam, on the other hand, has played 11 Test matches in total. In 21 innings, the Pakistani cricketer amassed a total of 485 runs.

The team’s selection committee has included Imran Butt in the 17 man Test squad to face New Zealand. The 24-year-old batsman smashed 191 runs in 3 Quaid-e-Azam trophy matches in this calendar year. Furthermore, Butt also topped the batting charts in the 1st class tournament held last year. Butt amassed a total of 934 runs, averaging a superb 62, which includes 4 hundred and 3 half-centuries.

I am confident that our team will rise to the occasion: Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq recently stated the Test side is much more balanced than the T20I side. He backed this by stating that the Test squad comprises much more experienced cricketers. After enduring a disappointing T20I series, Pakistan will look to bounce back with a solid performance in the Test series. Misbah is optimistic that his side will pose a challenge to the in-form Kiwis in the upcoming Test series.

Players returning to the Pakistan squad are Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, and Yasir Shah. Prior to the T20I series, Mohammad Hafeez and Imam Wasim will not be available for the Test matches. Hafeez will depart for Pakistan. Imad will leave for Australia to join Melbourne Renegades for BBL 2020.

NZ already won the T20I series, and will now focus on the upcoming Test series. Pakistan will want to set aside a disappointing T20I outing against New Zealand. The 1st Test is set to take the stage on 26th December.

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Written By,

Payel Gosh