Thu, 02 Feb 2023

Rawalpindi [Pakistan], December 6 (ANI): Haris Rauf has been ruled out of the second Test against England in Multan due to an injury.

The 29-year-old pacer who made his Test debut in the ongoing match against England, stepped on the ball while fielding, leading to an injury in his right quad.

As per ESPNcricinfo, Rauf was sent for MRI scans and did not take the field for the rest of the game. He batted in the first innings but did not bowl again. He had a disappointing debut, conceding 78 runs in 13 overs and was the most costly fast bowler on an opening day.

Rauf's injury, combined with Shaheen Afridi's absence from this series, could pave the way for Pakistan to call in a fast bowler from outside the initial 18-member squad for this series. Mohammad Wasim Jnr is the only other expert in that group, but Pakistan has possibilities outside of those ranks in Hasan Ali and Mohammad Abbas.

With four fresh caps handed out in Rawalpindi, Wasim's participation would mark yet another debut for a Pakistan player in this series. As a result, the experience that Abbas and Hasan bring may be elements that favour their inclusion.

Mohammad Ali and Zahid Mahmood both struggled, with the legspinner Mahmood allowing 235 runs in the first innings, a record for a debutant. He did, however, take four wickets.

That implies a similar replacement for Rauf is possible, though whether Pakistan chooses to go into their second consecutive Test without an established all-rounder remains to be seen. Both Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz are in the squad, and choosing one will invariably change the balance of the team in Multan.

Pakistan had four specialist bowlers in Rawalpindi, which lengthened a tail that included Rauf himself at No. 8, with Naseem, Ali, and Mahmood following. (ANI)

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