Pakistan suffer major setback as star spinner suffers leg injury, likely to miss to Perth Test

Abrar Ahmed vs Prime Minister's XI on Day 2
Image Source : GETTY Abrar Ahmed vs Prime Minister’s XI on Day 2

Abrar Ahmed suffered a leg injury during Pakistan’s ongoing warm-up match against Prime Minister’s XI on Friday and now becomes doubtful for the opening Test match against Australia. The star leg spinner complained of discomfort in his right leg and is unlikely to recover on time for the first match in Perth starting on December 14. 

The 25-year-old spinner bowled 27 overs in the second innings of the warm-up game at Canberra’s Manuka Oval but managed to get one wicket on Day 2. He dismissed opener Marcus Harris on 49 runs to give Pakistan their first success on the tour but they were frustrated with only four wickets in two days.

ESPNCricinfo reports that Abrar will not recover on time and will miss the opening game. However, there is no update on a potential replacement but the PCB is likely to consider one as Pakistan lack quality spin attack on the three-match tour. 

Without Abrar, the Shan Masood-led side only have the 37-year-old Noman Ali as a specialist spin option for the Perth Test. Noman didn’t bowl a single over in the warm-up game as the management is clearly preferring Abrar as their premier spin bowler on this tour. There is unlikely to be any help for the spin bowlers on Perth’s surface and both teams are expected to depend on their pace attack.

Abrar made his Test debut in December last year where he picked up 11 wickets against England at Multan Cricket Stadium. Abrar has been the team’s first-choice spinner in 2023 with 38 wickets in just six matches. Pakistan will be looking at legspinners Shadab Khan and Usama Mir as potential replacements for Abrar if the latter fails to recover before the second Test in Melbourne starting on Boxing Day.

Pakistan Test Squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi

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