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Uncertainty surrounds Malik’s availability for final Australia ODI

Pakistan stand-in captain did not play fourth ODI due to rib injury

Uncertainty surrounds Malik’s availability for final Australia ODI PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan stand-in captain Shoaib Malik is likely to miss fifth and final one-day international (ODI) of the ongoing series against Australia, after failing to recover from a rib injury.

The all-rounder, who was named Pakistan captain in absence of regular captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for ODI series against Australia, also missed the fourth match of the series.

According to sources, Malik is yet to fully recover from a rib injury and the team management is not keen on risking him for the dead rubber against Australia, in Dubai on Sunday, March 31.

Pakistan has already lost the series, after losing all four ODIs, and team officials feel that there is little point in playing Malik, especially bearing in mind the upcoming 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in England and Wales.

A fitness test will be taken before the match to assess Malik's chances of stepping out on the field.