PAK vs NZ: Sarfaraz Ahmed takes over as stand-in skipper with Babar Azam down with flu on day 3 of Karachi Test

Babar Azam did not take the field on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test.

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ankit Mishra
Ankit Mishra

Staff Writer

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam did not take the field on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand in Karachi. It was due to the player contracting a flu as the cameras spotted him in the dressing room in the team's training kit.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, who marked his return to the Test side for the first time in almost four years, took over the leadership duties in Babar’s absence. Adding to this, Mohammad Rizwan walked in as the substitute fielder at the start of the day's play.

In the midst of the red-ball contest, there seemed to be confusion over who was calling the shots as Rizwan was setting the fields and having chat with the bowlers. However, according to the MCC's 24.1.2 law, a substitute in the contest will not act as a skipper.

"A substitute shall not bowl or act as captain but may act as wicket-keeper only with the consent of the umpires," read the law.

Things eventually became clear when Sarfaraz, the former skipper, called for the review in the first session but it was Rizwan who continued taking care of the changes and field settings.

Babar Azam’s majestic knock guides side to score over 400

Babar scored a sensational knock of 161 runs in 280 deliveries which included 15 boundaries and one maximum. The knock coupled with Sarfaraz Ahmed’s 86 and Agha Salman’s century (103 runs) propelled the side to score 438 runs in their first innings.

In response, the Kiwis came up with a strong response as Tom Latham and Devon Conway added 183 runs.  The latter was dismissed for 92 runs while Tom scored his 13th Test hundred (113 runs) in the contest in Karachi. New Zealand will aim to score a competitive first innings score and hope to seal the game in the first Test match.