Pakistan has had quite a rocky start regarding their tour of New Zealand. As many as 6 members out of 54 tested positive for COVID-19 last month. Consequently, the team has been in isolation for quite a while and hasn’t trained in groups. Pakistan Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq believes that this will take a toll on the player’s mental and physical health adversely.
Misbah has stated that every professional athlete requires a specific training environment wherein he can work to become better every day. While Misbah completely understands why their members have received such treatment, he believes that this has affected the training of the entire team. Nonetheless, he will put his team to train harder post isolation to face New Zealand in both formats.
Pakistan will face New Zealand for their 1st T20I on December 18. Pakistan has called in Hussain Talat and Sarfaraz Ahmed for the T20I series. They will substitute Zafar Gohar and Rohail Nazir. The duo was part of the T20I squad against Zimbabwe.
Sarfaraz was dropped to help him rediscover his form: Misbah
Sarfaraz Ahmed was dropped from the Pakistan T20I squad against Zimbabwe so that he could find his lost form. Moreover, it was also planned so that the youngsters could get some game time under their belt. Sarfaraz Ahmed, meanwhile, played first-class cricket. In the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, Ahmed smashed a century against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In 6 innings, Ahmed scored a total of 177 runs with an average over 35.
Hussain Talat, meanwhile, has not played international cricket for quite a while. He last played international cricket back in 2019 against South Africa away from home. In the Quaid-e-Azam, he scored a career-best double century and one hundred in 5 innings. Moreover, Talat also bagged 319 runs for Southern Punjab in the National T20 cup with 3 fifties to his name.
Prior to the T20I series, Imad Wasim will leave for Australia to play BBL 2020. Hafeez, on the other hand, will depart for Pakistan on December 24. Pakistan has also recently announced a Shaheen's Squad for the 4 day game against the Kiwis. Both the squads will leave for Queenstown on December 8. Prior to completion of the 14-day quarantine, both squads will start training at different times as per match requirements. The Shaheens squad will leave for Whangarei on December 14. The other squad will travel to Auckland on December 15. Zafar Gohar and Rohail Nazir did not play a single T20I against Zimbabwe. However, they are a part of the 16 man squad set to face New Zealand.