Scans have revealed the severity of Azhar Ali’s injury and he will not be able to play the next two ODIs of the series, on Sunday and Thursday, due to his hamstring injury, ARY News reported.
Pakistan’s ODI skipper suffered the injury while batting in the first ODI of the five-match series. He left the field limping and later came out to bat when Pakistan were six down.
Pakistan team management weighed options to hand over the captaincy band in absence of the vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who flew back to Pakistan earlier due to his mother’s critical health. The most senior player, Shoaib Malik is also suffering from a throat infection in Australia, so he will sit out in the second ODI on Sunday.
However, PCB announced that former T20 skipper, Mohammad Hafeez will lead the side in their absence.
“Its sad what happened to Azhar,” Hafeez said from Melbourne. “Almighty has given me this opportunity so I will do my best to win the match on Sunday.”
Pakistan’s head coach, Mickey Arthur stated after the first ODI, “I don’t know (who will captain the side). That’s something we’ll have to work out tomorrow. I’ll have a chat to the convener of selectors and we’ll work something out.
“We’ll have to wait on all the scans tomorrow.”
Pakistan lost the first ODI by 92 runs at Sydney and they are 1-0 down in the five-match series. They will take on the hosts in the second ODI on Sunday at Melbourne.