Pakistan's stand-in skipper Mohammad Rizwan has revealed that the injured captain Babar Azam has been assisting the batsmen in training. Azam has been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand with a thumb fracture.
Even after skipping the three-match T20I series, Babar Azam is yet to attain full fitness. Mohammad Rizwan, however, spoke highly of the 26-year-old for participating in training sessions with an injured thumb.
“We will definitely miss our superstar Babar bhai, but we have still got depth in our batting and bowling department. Babar is in training even with the injury, which is praiseworthy. Meanwhile, he also helps other batsmen even when not playing for Pakistan,” Mohammad Rizwan was quoted as saying by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Our Test squad is more experienced than the T20I squad: Mohammad Rizwan
Pakistan were convincingly beaten in the opening two T20Is before Mohammad Rizwan’s 59-ball 89 in the third and final game helped them finish the series on a high. The wicketkeeper-batsman has more faith in Pakistan’s Test squad due to their experience.
“Our Test squad is more experienced than the T20I squad. We have the likes of Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam and Haris Sohail at our disposal in batting. Meanwhile, we have Test specialist bowlers like Mohammad Abbas, Yasir Shah and a young Shaheen Afridi in our side,” Rizwan said.
The 28-year-old’s confidence stems from Pakistan Shaheens’ victory against New Zealand A in the recent four-day tour match. Shaheens had quite a few first-team Test players.
Mohammad Rizwan claimed his side would provide a tough challenge to the hosts, adding that all the players looked in good shape in the latest nets session.
“We practiced for hours today, and our bowlers and batsmen looked in good rhythm. We will give a good challenge to the New Zealand side. We will try our best,” Mohammad Rizwan signed off.
The two-match Test series begins with a Boxing Day contest in Mount Maunganui (Dec 26-30), followed by one in Christchurch (Jan 3-7).Published 24 Dec 2020, 16:59 IST