Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Babar’s inclusion still a worry for team management

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan will be heading into the second Test against New Zealand on Sunday, the biggest question before start of the Test remains whether the inclusion of Babar Azam in the playing line-up is possible or not.

‘The News’ has learnt from well-placed sources that the team’s think-tank has yet to decide on Babar’s inclusion in the squad. So far the decision-makers are keeping their fingers crossed amid fears of risk involved in his inclusion at this stage, considering the fact we have important home series against South Africa coming up shortly.

Though, Babar has started practice and was seen going through his paces, the decision regarding his inclusion in the playing XI is yet to be taken. Pakistan are already trailing in the two-match Test series.

Under the prevailing situation, would it be a risky affair to include a batsman who is not fully fit and ready to perform?

“We have not yet decided whether or not Babar will be playing in the second Test. We would be making a final decision in a day or two. Babar is feeling much better now but still there are some doubts about his 100 percent fitness. But when it comes to deciding on a batsman of Babar’s stature, sometimes we get ready to take small risks,” a source within the team said.

The source added that the position will become much clearer once the team starts training today (Friday) in Christchurch.

“Training in next couple of days will give us a better picture of Babar’s fitness.”

When asked who would be dropped down the order if the team management decides to include captain Babar in the playing lineup, the source said: “I think it is too early to say anything about batting order. After taking the decision in this regard, we would be making up our mind about batting order,” the source said.

‘The News’, however, has learnt that Haris Sohail would likely be missing from the lineup if Babar is included in the team. The tour’s selection committee will have to choose Haris or Abid.

Babar’s inclusion in the team will be the only change in the playing XI for the second Test. “Babar will undergo a fitness test on Saturday. Though he bowled and batted during the training session, however the final decision is yet to be taken.”

Source: The News

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