Pakistani leg-spinner Shadab Khan ruled out of the opening test against Australia
Pakistani leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan who has developed a groin injury during the recently concluded Asia Cup which India won, is still injured and won’t be available for the opening test against the mighty Australians. But the Pakistani cricket board is confident that he will at least feature in the second test match. Because of this problem, Pakistan’s plan of playing dual leg spinners has gone down the hill.
Bilal Asif, another all-rounder of Pakistan is set to replace Shadab in the opening test in Dubai. Mohammed Hafeez, another ignored member of the Pakistan cricket team is going to make his return to the international circuit. He has been axed from the limited-overs squad earlier this year. He will be playing his first test after a gap of two years.
But Shadab’s absence will be a huge loss for the hosts in this series against Australia because a few months ago their coach, Micky Arthur said that on the slow and turning the United Arab Emirates pitches, the leg-spinning duo of Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan will be as deadly as any other.
Shadab made his case a stronger one in the all whites when he scored three fifties in three test matches in the tough English overcast conditions. But this series was like an opportunity for him to prove his real worth in the sub-continental conditions. When Australia last toured to the UAE, they were blown away by Pakistani spinning trio of Yasir, Zulfiqar Babar and Hafeez. Shadab was the perfect replacement for Babar.
Usually, Pakistan rarely plays two leg spinners in their side, especially in a test match. So, this was a golden opportunity for them to try this rare combination of theirs and if successful, they could have used it on a regular basis in the near future. Last time, Pakistan whitewashed the Australians quite easily but this time around the Australians are looking determined to at least get a win under their belt.