Thursday January 27, 2022

Unfit Babar opts out of second Test

January 03, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan ace batsman Babar Azam in consultation with the team management has opted out of the second Test that got underway at the Hagley Oval Christchurch against New Zealand on Sunday.

Babar, who has virtually become a spectator during the tour, was not ready to take any risk after feeling a bit of discomfort and pain in his injured thumb.

“We were confident that he might go on to play the second Test after two sessions of net practice on Friday. Due to the rain in Christchurch Saturday, it was not possible to conduct a full session of outdoor practice.

“Though Babar was involved in indoor practice, he was not feeling that comfortable with the thumb injury and ultimately decided against playing the last Test,” one of the team officials when contacted in New Zealand said.

He said that ultimately it was left to Babar to decide on his inclusion considering the state of fitness. “Babar decided against taking any undue risk, instead he was more interested to see leading batsman getting a second chance in the Test series. The management was also not interested in exposing Babar when he was not feeling a hundred percent fit and ready,” the official said.

Babar had to sit out the three-T20I series and the first Test, at Mount Maunganui, after he fractured his right thumb during a net session in the lead-up to the white-ball series.

“With the home series against South Africa just around the corner, even the medical specialist’s opinion was against taking any risk and favours giving more time to the healing process,” the official said.

The stand-in skipper Mohammad Rizwan is now leading the side in the second consecutive Test.

Team Doctor Dr Sohail Saleem: “We have seen improvement in Babar’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.”

Now when Babar is out of the series, he has been advised not to make any effort and let the injury recover fully. It is believed that in case of complete rest, Babar is expected to recover fully in a 10-day time.