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Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan has admitted that the national team relies too much on captain Babar Azam and must learn to win games without him.
This comes after Azam missed the entire series against New Zealand with a fractured right thumb.
Without their star player, Pakistan lost the T20 series 2-1 and were whitewashed 2-0 in the Test series that followed.
Azam has fully recovered from his injury and will feature in the upcoming series against South Africa, who are touring Pakistan for the first time in 14 years.
“We should not rely on Babar Azam alone. We need to have proper replacements. Pakistan will have to take advantage of the home conditions against South Africa. The new players need to be given confidence,” Younis was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“Babar is a big player. The captain and most important player being unfit led to an unsuccessful series against New Zealand. If Babar Azam is not available, that does not mean we should lose.”
Pakistan’s series against South Africa, which will consist of two Tests and three T20 Internationals, will start on January 26 and conclude on February 14.
Pakistan’s squad for the South Africa series: Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain), Fawad Alam, Kamran Ghulam, Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan