Pakistan received a major blow on Tuesday as seamer Mohammad Abbas was ruled out of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed revealed Abbas hasn’t recovered fully from the shoulder injury he suffered in the UAE. Abbas hurt his shoulder while diving in the field during the Dubai Test against the Kiwis.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan – whose groin injury continues to hamper his career – is unavailable for selection. However, opening batsman Fakhar Zaman is available after being sidelined due to a knee injury.
“Abbas is not fit for the first Test, hopefully he will be fit for the second Test,” Sarfraz said. “Shadab Khan, too, will be back for the second Test, but Fakhar Zaman is fit.”
In the absence of Shadab and Abbas, Pakistan will rely on pacers Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Faheem Ashraf with leg-spinner Yasir leading the spin department.
South Africa too are battling fitness issues with seamer Vernon Philander ruled out of the opening Test due to a fractured finger while pacer Lungi Ngidi has been sidelined for a long duration due to a knee injury.
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