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Former Pakistan pace bowler Sarfraz Nawaz believes captain Babar Azam should be sent home from New Zealand in order to make a full recovery from the fractured right thumb he suffered.
Azam sustained the injury in the lead-up to the ongoing T20 series and in addition to being ruled out of that, he will also miss the first Test, which begins on December 26. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan will lead the team in his absence.
Since it remains uncertain whether Azam will be fit for the second Test, Sarfraz feels it would be foolish to risk him and added that the 26-year-old should travel back to Pakistan to rest and recuperate ahead of the South Africa series in January.
“He should be called back immediately from New Zealand and allowed to take proper rest for the forthcoming home series against South Africa,” Sarfraz told The News. “Risking his injury would be dangerous even in the second Test.
“I have seen many players who were exposed to competitive cricket prematurely. In any fracture, you need at least one month to recover fully. Complete healing is the main requirement for a high-level competition. Babar is a valuable asset for the national team so proper handling of his injury is need of the hour.
“Pakistan needs Babar for important series ahead so there is a need to allow him proper rest rather exposing him prematurely on bouncy New Zealand tracks where his injury may get even worse in case he gets a hit again.”