Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq reveals he is to undergo a surgery

Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq reveals he is to undergo a surgery

Imam has been a crucial member of the Pakistan limited-overs setup and is thus a huge setback to the team.

Imam-ul-Haq. (Photo Source: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan opening batsman Imam ul-Haq took to Twitter to inform his fans that he is to undergo surgery on his finger which is fractured. The left-hander has been sidelined from the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi, which gets underway on October 16, after fracturing his little finger on the left hand. The batsman sustained the injury while diving for the ball in the field on Day 5 of the first Test in Dubai.

When batting in the first innings in Dubai, Imam had contributed 76 off 188 balls in Pakistan’s total of 482. He also stitched a 205-run partnership for the first wicket with veteran Mohammad Hafeez, which entered the record books as the fifth-highest opening stand for Pakistan in Test cricket. In Pakistan’s second innings, Imam top-scored for his team with 48 off 104 balls, helping them post a target of 462 for the visiting Australian side.

What are Pakistan’s alternatives?

With Imam-ul-Haq ruled out, Pakistan could look to push their current no.3 batsman Azhar Ali to the top and bring in leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan. However, whether Shadab will be able to play in Abu Dhabi will depend on how well he has recovered from his groin injury, which he picked up during the Asia Cup.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s side could also resort to explosive opener Fakhar Zaman to partner Hafeez at the top of the order, without moving Azhar Ali from his no.3 position. The left-handed Fakhar Zama, however, is uncapped in Test cricket and has been out of the first-class circuit since October 2017.

Taking to Twitter, Imam wrote, “Salam Everyone as my left finger is fractured wont be able to play next Test match against Australia but I wish all the best to my Team For the next Test match and I will be having Surgery Tomorow in Dubai won’t be able to play for next 3 weeks so pray for my Surgery.”

Australia scripted one of the greatest escapes in Test history after they were able to enforce a draw in the first Test in Dubai. Chasing 462, the visitors went to Stumps on Day 4 having lost 3 wickets and needing more than 300 runs. However, Usman Khawaja put his best foot forward, and his epic innings of 141 helped Australia to see off the final day.

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