Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali is set to take part in Pakistan’s second Test against Sri Lanka to be played from Sunday, June 24 at the Galle International Stadium. Skipper Babar Azam said that Nauman would replace the injured Shaheen Shah Afridi, keeping in mind the playing conditions.
Earlier, Shaheen was ruled out of the second Test after he sustained a leg injury in the first Test that Pakistan won by four wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series. A spokesperson for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that Shaheen complained of pain during the fourth day of the first Test.
Thereafter, the teeraway pacer from Landi Kotai underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on his leg. Ahead of the match, Babar admitted that Shaheen’s absence would be highly felt because of the early breakthroughs that the pace provides.
“Shaheen is our main bowler who provides us early breakthroughs. Unfortunately, he is injured so we have included Nauman Ali, looking at the conditions here,” Babar was quoted as saying.
Nauman made his debut against South Africa back in 2021 and has picked up 28 wickets from 10 Tests with three five-wicket hauls to show for his efforts. Nauman has also scored 203 runs in the purest format with a top score of 97.
Azam, who scored a century in the first innings of the opening Test, said that Pakistan need to work on certain aspects of their cricket to put in better performances on a consistent basis.
“As a team, we focus on record-breaking performances. Every player takes his responsibility sincerely and tries to give his hundred percent. As a unit, we are doing good so far. In the end, there are also some weak areas and we will try to work hard and come up more strongly,” he stated.
— ENDS —