PAK v NZ 2020-21

PCB gave update on Babar Azam’s inclusion in 2nd Test against New Zealand

Pakistani captain Babar Azam’s inclusion in the playing XI for the second Test against kiwis remains up in the air as the team’s think-tank has yet to take the final decision.

Babar Azam was ruled out of New Zealand T20Is after suffering a fracture in his right thumb during a practice session last month.

Amid fears of risk involved in his inclusion at this stage, the decision-makers are keeping their fingers crossed considering the fact Pakistan has an important home series against South Africa coming up shortly.

Babar Azam returns to nets ahead of 2nd Test against New Zealand. (Photo by James Allan/Getty Images)

According to the management, it does not want to take any risks by allowing Azam to play cricket in view of his injury.

“We have not yet decided whether or not Babar will be playing in the second Test. We would be making a final decision in a day or two. Babar is feeling much better now but still, there are some doubts about his 100% fitness. But when it comes to deciding on a batsman of Babar’s stature, sometimes we get ready to take small risks,” a source within the team revealed.

In the absence of Babar, wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan led the side during the first Test. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The source added that the situation will become much clearer once the team begins training today (Friday) in Christchurch. “Training in the next couple of days will give us a better picture of Babar’s fitness.”

“Babar will undergo a fitness test on Saturday. Though he bowled and batted during the training session, however, the final decision is yet to be taken the” the source said.

Commenting on who would be dropped down the order if the team management decides to include captain Babar in the playing lineup, the source said: “I think it is too early to say anything about batting order. After taking the decision in this regard, we would be making up our mind about batting order.”

Azam, however, has started practice and was seen going through his paces, the final verdict regarding his inclusion in the playing XI is yet to be taken. Pakistan are already trailing in the two-match Test series.

Haris Sohail would likely be missing from the lineup if Babar is included in the team. The tour’s selection committee will have to choose Haris or Abid.

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