Pakistan bowling coach says that injury came at the wrong time
Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis has stated that the Men in Green’s all-format captain Babar Azam’s injury is a major setback ahead of New Zealand T20I series.
Babar was ruled out of the series after suffering a fracture in his right thumb during Sunday morning’s practice session in Queenstown.
Babar will be unable to attend nets for, at least, 12 days, meaning he will not be available for the 18, 20 and 22 December T20Is to be played in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier, respectively.
“It is a major setback for us. Other teams are scared of Babar Azam and there is no doubt that he is one of the best players in the world. It is unfortunate that it [injury] happened at the wrong time, just at the stroke of the series starting,” said Younis.
“It is also an opportunity for other players to step up, especially the youngsters, as they will get more chances,” he added.
He also opened up about facing difficult circumstances due to Covid-19 pandemic and the affect it was having on the team’s preparation.
“These circumstances are not normal due to Covid-19 and teams will suffer on tours but we all have got to deal with this and it is our job to get the best out of players,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan T20I vice-captain Shadab Khan is also carrying a groin niggle, which limited his participation in Sunday’s net sessions to batting only. He had missed the Zimbabwe T20Is due to a similar injury and decision on his participation in the Auckland T20I will be made closer to the match.
“Hopefully Shadab Khan will recover in time for the series. If he doesn’t, then it is up to Misbah and company, and the chairman [PCB], to name the captain of the series,” he concluded.