Pakistan all-rounder, Shadab Khan, has been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand due to a thigh injury following the conclusion of his side’s four wickets victory in the third T20I in Napier on Tuesday.
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.
As Shadab is not available for, at least, the 26-30 December Test at Mount Maunganui, the team management has included left-arm spinner, Zafar Gohar, as a reinforcement. Zafar has joined the Test side from Hamilton where he was preparing with the Pakistan Shaheens for Sunday’s T20 match against the Northern Knights.
In the 2019-20 first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Zafar was the third most successful bowler with 38 wickets, including five four-fers and one five-fer for Central Punjab. In the National T20 Cup 2020-21, he took eight wickets for Central Punjab.
The 25-year-old has so far taken 144 wickets in 39 first-class matches, including six five-wicket hauls in an innings and two ten-wicket match hauls.
Pakistan squad for Tests: 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).
26-30 Dec – 1st Test v New Zealand, Mount Manganui
3-7 Jan – 2nd Test v New Zealand, Christchurch