Babar Azam ruled out of second Test against New Zealand
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday announced that Babar Azam would not play the second Test against New Zealand due to slight pain in his thumb.
The second Test against New Zealand will start on Sunday at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Babar, 26, had participated in a training session on Friday but the team's management decided to not include Babar in the second Test after he reported slight pain in his thumb, to avoid any risk of further injury.
“We have seen improvement in Babar Azam'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," said Dr Sohail Saleem who is the doctor for the Pakistan cricket team.
Babar was also not part of the team in the first Test due to a fractured thumb while Muhammad Rizwan will once again lead the side.
“The medical team is constantly reviewing his injury and the management is hopeful that he will be available for the home series against South Africa starting January 26,” the doctor added.
Last month, Babar Azam suffered a fracture in his right thumb during a practice session, which also ruled him out of the T20 leg of the series.
Similarly, the pressure is also on for the New Zealand cricket team. There is a lot at stake for New Zealand in the second Test where they need to win to have a chance of making the World Test Championship final at Lords in June.
New Zealand are vying with Australia, India and England to make the final two. A draw or better will confirm New Zealand as number one in the world rankings, extend their unbeaten home record to 17 Tests and a win will see New Zealand win six consecutive Tests for the first time.