Pakistan’s talismanic captain Babar Azam has been cleared to take up in the second Test against New Zealand beginning in Christchurch on Sunday but is not confirmed in the team.
“He has batted perfectly in the nets and he’s fine now but he really wants to hit even more today and we’ll find out tomorrow,” Mohammad Rizwan, who captained the side in the primary Test, said as the staff practised on Saturday. Babar hasn't enjoyed on the tour since breaking a thumb during a practice session after completing their Covid-enforced 14-time quarantine on arrival in New Zealand.
Rizwan described Babar due to Pakistan’s Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain whose first-innings century laid the building blocks because of their 101-run victory found in the first Test.
“He’s cleared but he really wants to take some more period. If he has he includes great effects on us. Williamson batted very sturdy … Babar Azam has the same role in our team. The result may have been distinct if Babar was playing.”
In a tense finish, New Zealand received the initially Test with 27 balls to spare and Williamson acknowledged Azam could have strengthened Pakistan.
“He’s one of the better players on the globe. He obviously brings a lot,” Williamson said.
“We found how challenging it really is against this Pakistan area. You add Babar compared to that and it strengthens it.”
You will find a lot at stake for New Zealand in the second Test where they need to win to have a potential for making the World Test Championship final at Lords in June.
New Zealand are vying with Australia, India and England to help make the final two.
A pull or better will verify New Zealand as number 1 on the globe rankings, prolong their unbeaten house record to 17 Checks and a gain will dsicover New Zealand win 6 consecutive Tests for the very first time.
But Williamson, recently installed as the main batsman in the world, said ratings and accolades weren't a focus.
“You know these are very difficult what to control and these ranks sort of move every day,” Williamson said while adding there was something special about the current Black Caps squad.
“Looking back, we’re been competitive sometimes but certainly not on a regular basis and the team’s arrive a long way in terms of bringing an factor of consistency.”
There have been occasional showers disrupting practice in Christchurch over Saturday but the forecast is for fine weather throughout the Test.