PAK v SA 2018-19

Huge Setback for Pakistan ahead of 1st Test against South Africa

JOHANNESBURG: Injury fears hover over the Pakistan cricket team as Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Abbas has been ruled out from the opening Test against South Africa starting from December 26 and spinner Shadab Khan continue to be in doubt for the first Test against South Africa.

According to sources, Abbas is nursing a shoulder issue while Shadab has a groin injury which lead him sitting out of the three-day practice match against Cricket South Africa.

Mohammad Abbas of Pakistan (L) celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Devendra Bishoo for 0 who was caught by Younis Khan during the fourth days of play of the 3rd and final test match at the Windsor Park Stadium in Roseau, Dominica on May 13, 2017.
The series is level with one match all. / AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

The bowler suffered shoulder injury during the second Test against New Zealand. He also missed the series decider against the Kiwis — which Pakistan lost by 123 runs earlier this month.

According to source, Opener Fakhar Zaman is also suffering from a knee problem.

Fakhar Zaman (L) and Azhar Ali run between the wickets during day two of the second Test in Abu Dhabi on October 17, 2018. Photo: AFP

Mohammad Amir — who was sidelined after below-par performance in the Asia Cup — is set to replace the injured pacer. He is expected to feature alongside fellow pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi — who made his debut against New Zealand in the recently concluded Test series in UAE – and Hasan Ali.

Meanwhile, the opening slot, which was vacant after the retirement of veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, will now be filled by returning left-hander Fakhar Zaman.

Zaman missed series against the Blackcaps after sustaining knee injury during second Test against Australia. He had made his Test debut in the same game and scored 94 and 66 in first and second innings respectively.

Opener Imamul Haq — who scored only 74 runs in his last three Tests — showed some form with the bat in the tour game. The left-handed batsman scored a promising 66 in the second innings to help Pakistan win the game.

The Tests will be followed by five one-day internationals in which both teams will be looking to settle on combinations ahead of the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, starting on May 30.

There will also be three T20 internationals — a format in which Pakistan top the international rankings.

Pakistan Test Squad:

Sarfraz Ahmed (captain/wicketkeeper), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah

Fixtures:

December 26-30: First Test, Centurion

January 3-7: Second Test, Cape Town

January 11-15: Third Test, Johannesburg

January 19: First ODI, Port Elizabeth

January 22: Second ODI, Durban

January 25: Third ODI, Centurion

January 27: Fourth ODI, Johannesburg

January 30: Fifth ODI, Cape Town

February 1: First T20I, Cape Town

February 3: Second T20I, Johannesburg

February 6: Third T20I, Centurion

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