Former Pakistani wicket keeper Rashid Latif on Sunday said that the absence of Babar Azam in the T20I series against the black caps will be an opportunity for other players to step up.
The 52-year-old opened up on the Youtube show ‘Caught Behind’ and said that, although, Babar’s injury is a ‘big loss’, it could be a blessing in disguise as young players like Haider Ali and Abdullah Shafique will get now get an opportunity to prove themselves.
“Babar Azam is a big loss. Hopefully he will recover soon. But it can work in Pakistan’s favour, too. When a big player is injured, it leads team to discover a new player. If Abdullah Shafique and Haider Ali opens the innings in Babar’s absence, and they do well then Pakistan might get a new star,” Rashid said.
“Let the youngsters open the inning and face the fire. If they are able to handle that, then they will eventually become good players,” he added.
Babar Azam has fractured his right thumb in training on Sunday and has subsequently been ruled out of action for 12 days, which means that the Pakistan skipper will not be available to play the three Twenty20 Internationals against the host New Zealand, starting from December 18.
Shadab, who is named the new captain in Babar’s absence, is also carrying a groin niggle and the decision on his inclusion in the first T20 in Auckland will be made closer to the match.
“If Shadab is not fit in time then Imad Wasim could lead Pakistan in T20s as he recently led in Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well,” Rashid added.