After the damp-quib in Rawalpindi; one that was dominated by inclement weather and bad light, the action of the two-match Test series will now move to the National Stadium in Karachi as both sides aim to not only win the series but also grab 60 ICC Test Championship points. But, in what comes as a jolt to Pakistan’s prospects, pace bowler Usman Khan Shinwari has been ruled out of contention to participate in the Karachi Test, after he was hospitalized with a high fever.
Pakistan head-coach + chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq informed the media on Tuesday that the tall lanky fast bowler is going through the treatment but it is extremely unlikely that he’ll be available for selection for the Karachi Test. And it is not only Pakistan, who have injury issues to deal with. Sri Lanka has also lost their pacer in Kasun Rajitha after he suffered a hamstring injury.
Former Pakistan and current Sri Lankan coach Mickey Arthur informed the media on Tuesday on Rajitha’s unavailability, “No he can’t play here and he is being looked after for his left hamstring problem,” Arthur said as quoted by Times Now. This has come after Sri Lanka are already without their seasoned campaigner in pacer Suranga Lakmal, who missed out on the tour due to dengue.
Both sides have injury concerns leading into Karachi Test
The last Test match saw Pakistan play a four-man pace attack. But, that will not be the case in Karachi, considering the conditions that the National stadium offers. Star leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who was released from the squad so that he could work on his bowling under the guidance of bowling consultant Mushtaq Ahmed, has re-joined the squad and, is set to make it to the playing XI in the second Test.
But, the real question is whether Pakistan will go with a sole spinner in Yasir or unleash a two-man spin-attack by handing a Test match debut to Kashif Bhatti. As for Sri Lanka, Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando are the only remaining bowlers in the squad who have played Test cricket. 22-year-old Asitha Fernando, who was named as Suranga Lakmal’s replacement, has played only one ODI.
The second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will kickstart at the National Stadium in Karachi from December 19th, 2019.
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