Babar Azam ruled out of second Test but skipper Rizwan confident of good show

Pakistan's injured captain Babar Azam trains during the team's training session the day before the second cricket Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch on January 2, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Stand-in captain Muhammad Rizwan is confident of his team's good chance of winning the second Test in Christchurch despite regular skipper Babar Azam being once again ruled out as he hasn't yet recovered from his injury.

Babar was again ruled out of the second test on Saturday although he had had a nets session on Friday.

"Babar is still not confident 100 percent that he is fit for the test match and I know he will never take a chance unless he is completely sure he has full match fitness," Rizwan said on the eve of the match.

Babar, who sustained a thumb fracture last month in Queenstown during a throw-down, will return home without having played a single match in New Zealand.

In his absence in the first test, Pakistan put up a gallant fight but lost the game in the final session with just four overs to go in the match.

"Babar's absence is a big blow as he is a key player but the series is still not over for us and we can still win this test and level the series if we play well and to our strength," Rizwan who got fighting half centuries in both innings in the first test said.

The Pakistan team was unable to train properly on Saturday due to rain in Christchurch.

Rizwan said that after winning the last match of the T20 series, Pakistan had gained some momentum and they carried it into the Test series.

"We fought hard in the first test and the players are pretty confident about doing well here as well," he said.

"The last match of a tour is always very important and we want to end the tour on a winning note," he added.

Rizwan confirmed the team management was thinking about some changes in the side but said this would be decided later on.

The PCB said Babar had a full-fledge training session yesterday but felt slight pain in his thumb, following which, the team management has opted against taking any risk.

"With a home series coming up against South Africa, we didn’t want to take a risk with Babar," a team official said.

Team Doctor Dr Sohail Saleem: "We have seen improvement in Babar Azam's injury but he is yet to fully recover. He is our captain and the most important batsman in the lineup, so we do not want to take any risk." "The medical team is constantly reviewing his injury and we are hopeful he will be available for the home series against South Africa."


Mohammad Rizwan (captain, wicketkeeper), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 9:43:51 AM |

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