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NZ vs Pak: Shadab Khan ruled out of first Test

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Tauranga, Dec 23 (IANS) Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan has been ruled out of the first Test of the upcoming two-match series against New Zealand beginning Saturday due to a thigh injury following the conclusion of his side’s four wickets victory in the third T20I on Tuesday.

Shadab will now undergo MRI scans in Tauranga on Thursday, following which a further update on the exact nature of the injury and time needed to return to competitive cricket will be provided, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement on Wednesday.

As Shadab is not available for, at least, the Boxing Day Test, the team management has included left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar as a reinforcement.

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Zafar has joined the Test side from Hamilton where he was preparing with the Pakistan Shaheens for Sunday’s T20 match against the Northern Knights.

The 25-year-old has so far taken 144 wickets in 39 first-class matches, including six five-wicket hauls in an innings and two ten-wicket match hauls.

Captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq have already been ruled out of the first Test and in Babar’s absence, Mohammad Rizwan will lead the side at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

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Pakistan Test squad: Mohammad Rizwan (captain for 1st Test), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar. (Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq and Shadab Khan not available for the first Test).

–IANS

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