Queenstown: National team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq is hopeful that Pakistan T20I vice-captain Shadab Khan will regain full match fitness ahead of the first T20I against New Zealand at Auckland.
The 22-year-old Shadab is carrying a groin niggle due to which he also miss the T20I series against Zimbabwe last month.
“The medical team is monitoring his niggle and we remain optimistic that he will be available for the T20Is, but we will neither risk him nor the team’s chances if we think he needs a few more days to be back to his complete fitness,” Misbah said in a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Misbah expressed disappointment as Pakistan will be without their best batsman and captain Babar Azam, who suffered a fracture in his right thumb during today’s practice session.
“Injuries are part and parcel of professional sport and while it is hugely disappointing to lose a player of Babar Azam’s calibre for the T20Is. I have spoken with Babar and he is sad to miss the T20I series as he was fully focused and keenly looking forward to the T20Is,” he added.
“This opens up opportunities for the other highly talented and exciting players to step-up, understand their responsibilities and try to prove that the Pakistan side is a complete package,” he maintained.
It must be noted that the Green Shirts are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests against New Zealand, starting from December 18.