Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan has been ruled out of the 1st Test against the black caps, starting December 26 in Mount Maunganui. Khan will miss the series opener with a thigh injury he had picked up during the 3rd T20I in Napier.
Shadab Khan who most recently led Pakistan in a three-match T20I series in New Zealand, suffered the injury after Pakistan beat New Zealand by four wickets in the third and final Twenty20 at Napier on Tuesday.
The 22-year old player will now undergo MRI scans in Tauranga and the updates will be given after that.
“Shadab will now undergo MRI scans in Tauranga on Thursday, following which a further update on the exact nature of the injury and time needed to return to competitive cricket will be provided,” the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Wednesday.
Shadab Khan has picked 14 wickets at an average of 36.64 and scored 300 runs at an average of 33.33, including three half-centuries in six Test so far.
Shadab’s injury comes as another blow for Pakistan as their regular captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq were ruled out of the first Test with injuries. Babar, who missed the 3-match T20I series with a broken thumb, is likely to return for the 2nd Test with head coach Misbah-ul-Haq providing a positive update about the 28-year-old batsman’s recovery.
Zafar Gohar Named As Shadab Khan’s Replacement
The team management has included left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar in place of Khan in its 15-member squad for the first test, starting at Mount Maunganui from Saturday.
Gohar was the third most successful bowler with 38 wickets in the 2019-20 domestic first-class tournament.
Mohammad Rizwan, who hit a match-winning fifty for Pakistan in the third T20I, has been named the captain for the 1st Test.
Pakistan will begin the Test series in Mount Maunganui on Boxing Day while the 2nd Test will be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch from January 3.
Pakistan Squad For 1st Test
Mohammad Rizwan (captain for 1st Test), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar. [Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, and Shadab Khan not available for the first Test]