Pacer Wahab Riaz has been ruled out of the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka with a hairline fracture that will see him on the sidelines for three weeks. The selectors will wait before deciding whether to name a replacement for Wahab.
There are two pacers available already with the team in Ehsan Adil and Imran Khan, and the selectors will consult the touring management regarding whether a replacement is needed.
Wahab was hit on the glove on the left hand on Thursday while batting on the first day. He managed to complete his innings, and also bowled nine overs for 19 runs in Sri Lanka’s first innings.
“An X-ray was performed at the end of the day’s play, which revealed a non-displaced fracture of the base of the fourth MCP bone,” reported the team’s physiotherapist, Brad Robinson. “He was further examined by a senior orthopaedic surgeon who has advised that he will require two to three weeks rest in order to allow healing.”
Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Fawad Alam and youngster Babar Azam are in line to replace the injured Haris Sohail, who returned home after an injury, in the Pakistan squad for third Test against Sri Lanka.
Fawad skippered Pakistan A against Sri Lanka A recently and did well on the tour. The 29-year-old scored 168 on his Test debut against hosts Sri Lanka back in 2009, which is the highest score on debut overseas by a Pakistani batsman but has only been limited to three Tests in his career.
The left-handed batsman has been one of the most consistent run-getter in domestic cricket and remains a strong contender.
On the other hand, highly-rated Babar, who recently scored a fifty on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe, is another option as he is liked by Waqar Younis.
The head coach was impressed by Babar after seeing him score a century against Australia last year in a side match and has pushed for his inclusion since then.
“Right now the second Test is going on but we’ve thought about candidates who could replace Haris,” chief selector Haroon Rasheed told The Express Tribune. “Those on the radar include players who went to Sri Lanka with Pakistan A and did well. We’ll make the final decisions after consultation with the team management.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.
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