Abid Ali will replace Imam-ul-Haq in the Pakistan playing XI for the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka at Karachi slated to take place on Wednesday.
According an update from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Imam has been ruled out the series finale after he sustained an injury to his left hand while fielding in the second ODI on Monday.
The left-hander had struck a 41-ball 31 in the second ODI which Pakistan won by 67 runs eventually to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
For replacement opener Abid Ali, it will be only his fourth ODI appearance for Pakistan with his most recent one coming against England in May earlier this year. The 31-year-old had struck a century on his ODI debut against Australia in Dubai but could was dismissed for a duck and five runs in his two subsequent appearances.
📰 Imam-ul-Haq is not available for selection due to an injury in his left hand, which he sustained while fielding in the second ODI against Sri Lanka. Opening-batsman Abid Ali replaces him in the side.#PAKvSL— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) October 2, 2019
Pakistan are looking to clinch an ODI series win in front of their home fans at Karachi before the two teams move on to Lahore for the T20I-leg.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed had hinted towards changes in the playing XI for the final ODI after his side’s comprehensive victory on Monday.
“We’ll try to give everyone a chance through this series, even the guys on our bench are first priority players for us,” Sarfraz had remarked after the 67-run win.
Should the hosts be able to seal the job against the Lankans on Wednesday, it will mark a perfect start to Misbah-ul-Haq’s tenure as head coach and chief selector of the men’s team.
The No1 ranked Indians are aiming for a record 11th successive Test series win at home and will fancy their chances against a side whom they routed by 3-0 in 2015-16.
South Africa, though, have some real quality among their ranks which could cause problems for Virat Kohli and his men.
Ahead of the series, we have compiled our combined XI Test team from the available set of players.
Dean Elgar (South Africa)
While the standards continue to plummet for opening batsmen around the world, Elgar remains a class apart with his gritty old-school approach to the format. He is the only player in history apart from Desmon Haynes to carry his bat thrice.
Aiden Markram (South Africa)
It is an all-Proteas affair for the opening slots with young Markram continuing to chart an impressive rise in senior cricket. The 24-year-old right-hander has already mustered four tons and six half-centuries in just 31 innings so far.
Cheteshwar Pujara (India)
The India top-order stalwart would walk into most Test outfits with a batting average approaching 50 after 70 appearances. His record in India is even better with 10 of his 18 Test tons coming at home.
Virat Kohli (c) (India)
The India skipper might have seen his No1 ranking usurped by Steve Smith recently but he is the best batsman by some distance in the upcoming series. The 30-year-old has registered a ton on 25 of the 47 occasions that he has breached the 50-run mark.
Aijnkya Rahane (India)
The India Test deputy skipper had been struggling for form for almost two years before breaking his century drought in the recent series win in the Caribbean. Ironically, he hold a better record overseas than India where he averages just 34.55.
Quinton de Kock (wk) (South Africa)
The explosive Proteas wicketkeeper batsman remains one of the most threatening batsman in the format with his ability to pile on some quick runs down the order. The Johannesburg man is in excellent form at the moment after registering two fifties in the preceding T20 series.
Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
The 33-year-old might not be India’s first-choice overseas spinner anymore but he remains unparalleled when it comes to his strong performances on home soil. The veteran off-spinner has been key to India’s home dominance with 234 wickets in just 36 matches.
Ravindra Jadeja (India)
Jadeja has been Ashwin’s partner-in-crime in India’s rise to the top of the Test rankings with the left-armed spinner carrying the ability to extract sharp turn and bounce on even the most docile of subcontinent pitches.
Vernon Philander (South Africa)
The South African remains the gold standard when it comes to Test seamers with a bowling average of just 21.64 after a total of 58 matches. Can move the ball both ways at will while pitching the ball perfectly around the off-stump.
Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
The youngest bowler to ascend to the top of the ICC Test rankings has been spearheading South Africa’s attack in all formats for more than three years now. Still only 24, Rabada still has his best years ahead of him.
Mohammed Shami (India)
With Jasprit Bumrah missing for India due to an injury, Shami will be the leader of the pace attack and deservedly so. He has mastered the art of extracting the maximum from subcontinent conditions with his average standing at just 24.48 in nine matches.
Former South Africa and India coach Gary Kirsten is reportedly the favourite to take over the England head coach position with the 51-year-old set to interview for the job on Wednesday.
According to a report by the Guardian, Kirsten will meet with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) representatives on Wednesday to outline his vision for the team.
The former Proteas opener has one of the most impressive coaching resumes in international cricket after having led both India and South Africa to the top of the ICC Test rankings during his tenures with the respective teams.
Kirsten’s crowning coaching achievement came in 2011 in Mumbai when he led the Indian team to their second World Cup title. The South African then followed up that impressive stint with an equally productive one with the Proteas before moving on to the coaching in various T20 franchise leagues around the world including the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Kirsten is in the fray to take over the England role vacated by the departure of Trevor Bayliss whose four-year stint came to an end with the completion of the recent Ashes series.
The South African has already signed up as one of the head coaches for the inaugural edition of the ECB’s Hundred and is slated to take charge of the Cardiff-based outfit in the competition.
According to the same report by the Guardian, former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart, Graham Thorpe and Graham Ford are also in the running for the coveted job.