Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and star opener Imam-ul-Haq have been ruled out of the first Test match against New Zealand on Monday. The skipper was ruled out of the T20I series due to a fracture on his right thumb during a practice session at Queenstown.
Pakistan lost the second T20I match of the three-match T20I series by 9 wickets despite Mohammad Hafeez’s unbeaten score of 99. New Zealand also won the T20I series with an unassailable lead of 2-0 on Sunday.
Imam Ul Haq had also pulled out of the T20I series after suffering from a fracture on his left thumb during the net-session.
“Although it will be nearly two weeks since Babar’s injury when the first Test starts, it will be hard on him and the team to play him without any net sessions,” Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said.
“I remain confident and optimistic that other players will rise to the occasion in Mount Maunganui.” he added.
The team management named wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan as the stand-in captain of Pakistan for the two-match Test series. The two-match Test series will be a part of the ICC World Test Championship.
The management also named batsman Imran Butt in the 15-man squad for the Test series starting with Boxing day on December 26. Butt, 24, has played 72 First-class, 38 List A, and 16 T20s in his career and aggregated a total of 5918 runs across all the formats.
Both the sides will lock horns for the third and final T20I match at McLean Park, Napier on December 22 before heading to Bay Oval for the Test series.