Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali has been ruled out of the first Test against England, which starts on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, due to a toe injury.
Ali injured his toe during Pakistan’s recent limited overs tour of Zimbabwe and has not trained since.
“He will not be playing in the first Test,” Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam told ESPNcricinfo. “His wound is almost dried up but he is not comfortable wearing his shoe and didn’t take part in training activities since we are here.”
The news about Ali is a major blow for Pakistan as they had been hoping that the infected wound on his toe would have healed up by now. However, it is understood that the scorching conditions in the United Arab Emirates have played a part in the wound taking longer than expected to heal.
England pace bowler James Anderson admitted that Pakistan would sorely miss Ali as he has had a lot of success against England in the past, which has included innings of 92 not out at The Oval in 2010 and a match-winning 157 in the second innings of the third Test in Dubai in February 2012.
“He played very well last time at No. 3,” Anderson said. “He was the guy to get out for them even with their experienced players after him, I thought he was the key wicket for us so he’ll be a big miss. But they have plenty of other quality players who have made big runs out here.”