Babar Azam is out of the first Test against New Zealand, Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq says

Inzamam-ul-Haq said Babar Azam has been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand

Inzamam-ul-Haq: “It will take him at least six to seven days to get back in form. Hence, he is out of the first Test match as well”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq has said that captain Babar Azam is already out of the first Test against New Zealand.

Azam has been ruled out of the three-match T20 series that starts on Friday after sustaining a fractured right thumb.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury during a throw-down session on Sunday morning and was taken to a local hospital, where X-rays confirmed the fracture.

Azam, who is second on the T20 International batsmen rankings, won’t be able to participate in any net sessions for at least 12 days.

With that in mind, Inzamam questioned how Azam will feature in the first Test, which begins on December 26, if he can only start practicing the day before.

The former captain and chief selector added that the team management “said 12 days just to make sure that people don’t think that he is out of the Test match as well”.

“Doctors have advised 12 days rest to Babar, so he won’t be able to practice till December 25 and the first Test starts on December 26. In addition to that, he has only practiced for two days prior to that as well, so he has been out of practice for a whole month,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.

“It will take him at least six to seven days to get back in form. Hence, he is out of the first Test match as well.”

Inzamam also slammed bowling coach Waqar Younis’ comments on Azam’s injury.

Inzamam noted that with the management admitting they are concerned, it sends all the wrong signals to the Pakistan team as it will affect the players’ morale and give New Zealand the upper hand.

“I was surprised to see the team management saying openly that Babar’s injury happened at the wrong time. Everyone knows that Babar is our main player, but I don’t think the management should say that we are concerned, as it sends out a message to the opposition that our morale is down,” he said.

“When you admit something like this, it gives an edge to the opposition. I didn’t like this statement.”

Pakistan will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests in New Zealand, with the series beginning on Friday and concluding on January 7.

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