Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq have been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand starting on December 26. Both the players are down with injuries and especially Babar Azam was racing against time to get fit for the Test series opener to be played at Mount Maunganui.
Unfortunately for Pakistan, their skipper Babar Azam has been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand after suffering a fracture in his right thumb during a practice session on December 12, reported ESPN Cricinfo. Only recently was Babar appointed as full-time Test skipper with PCB making hum team's captain across all formats and the New Zealand Tests were supposed to be his first series as full-time captain. He had replaced senior countryman Azhar Ali, who was earlier the Pakistan Test captain.
Not only Babar but Pakistan have also lost opener Imam-ul-Haq due to a thumb fracture and he has been advised a 12-day rest. Babar had also missed the New Zealand T20Is and now he will miss the opening Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui starting December 26, which will impact Pakistan's batting immensely.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan who had emerged as a star for Pakistan in the England Tests, a few months back, will lead the side as he was made the Test vice-captain before the tour.
It is going to be a stiff challenge for Pakistan to compete against New Zealand in Tests as they have been dominating teams at home for quite some time now. Earlier, this year, they had whitewashed India at their turf too.