'Finally a great decision' - Netizens rejoice after Sarfaraz Ahmed replaces Mohammad Rizwan for Karachi Test
Sarfaraz Ahmed makes his 50th Test appearance for Pakistan.
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The Test series opener between hosts Pakistan and New Zealand in Karachi marked the return of former Pakistani skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed into the starting eleven. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter replaced the under-fire Mohammad Rizwan for the first Test. The Netizens were delighted by the return of the veteran cricketer and praised the team for dropping Rizwan, who has had a lean run in the longest format of the game.
The hosts, coming into the series opener on the back of a humiliating defeat against England, decided to bat first after winning the toss at the National Stadium in Karachi. Pakistani skipper Babar Azam, announced the team, marking the return of Sarfaraz Ahmed to the side. The 35-year-old last played a red-ball game in 2019 and hasn't featured for Pakistan since November 2021.
Mohammad Rizwan, who came under scrutiny for his lackluster showing in the recently concluded whitewash against Ben Stokes' England at home, finds himself on the sidelines after a change in the selection committee following Ramiz Raja's departure. The fans welcomed the decision to bench the underperforming cricketer as they felt it was time Sarfaraz returned to the national side.
The match also sees the return of Mir Hamza to the Test side, his first match since 2018. Pakistan have opted to go with three spinning options, welcoming Nauman Ali into the starting eleven since the surface in Karachi is expected to turn big from the first day. The home side will need a strong showing against the visiting Kiwis, who have not played a red-ball match since their away series defeat against England in June.
The visitors, under the new leadership of veteran pacer Tim Southee, have also gone with three spinning options by including Ish Sodhi, Ajaz Patel, and Michael Bracewell into the team for a spin-friendly track in Karachi.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the inclusion of Sarfaraz Ahmad for the first Test against New Zealand:
Our team for the first Test 🇵🇰#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai pic.twitter.com/gGCZ38yuMe— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 26, 2022
Best of luck to him! Want him to thrive. Can't afford for him to fail just to prove agendas on Twitter. Both Sarfaraz and Rizwan are our boys https://t.co/SON3fd3MVi— Anxi-T ✨️ Babar Azam Enthusiast (@LegoLass86) December 26, 2022
Sarfaraz Ahmed is back. It will be interesting to see him bat after long, playing for his place. Rizwan has himself to be blamed. #PAKvNZ— Shubh Aggarwal (@shubh_chintak) December 26, 2022
Ab Bhi Kuch Log Babar Ko Critisize Kr Rha Hain K Rizwan Ko q Nhi Khilaya Yr Khuda Ka Khoof Kro Pehla Ap Sab Hi Kahta Tha K Saifi Ko Khilayo Rizwan Ko Nhi Har Bat Pai Bas Babar Ko Critisize Karna Bat Khatam💔💔#PAKvNZ— ♥A̿s̿h̿a̿r̿a̿b̿🇵🇰🏏 (@asharab_raza) December 26, 2022
vice-captain Rizwan has been dropped!! wow!#PakvsNZ— khan (@ereking5) December 26, 2022
No one will be crying for Rizwan at least in Test and ODI cricket. He is only better as OPENER in T20Is where he has let us down for several times. https://t.co/Pg7tl9lQtX— Aqeel (@AqeelViews) December 26, 2022
Big impact of regime change reflected!— Amogh Mhatre 🇮🇳 (@aamoghh) December 26, 2022
Mohammad Rizwan dropped!
Babar-Rizwan nexus broken right away by @najamsethi @wwasay @Rizzvi73#PAKvNZ
@TheRealPCB Today Justice is done.Sarfraz in Paying 11 and Babars parchi Rizwan out....This 11 looks like one who can see merit will be rewarded and not Babars autocracy @sawerapasha ,@razi_haider— Tejas Bhide 🇮🇳 (@TejasBhide) December 26, 2022
As Shahid Afridi said, Sarfaraz and Mir Hamza both are in. Fahim and Rizwan out.— Daniyal Mirza (@Danitweets___) December 26, 2022
Best of luck to both of them. Saifi won't get a better chace than this. Hope he performs really well in this series.
Finally a great decision by Babar Azam.— Aqeel (@AqeelViews) December 26, 2022
Sarfraz Ahmed is Playing. Rizwan PR dropped.
It was inevitable. Pakistan have gone back to @SarfarazA_54. Rizwan dropped https://t.co/r4p0TwFZF9— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) December 26, 2022
Guess who is back!!!#PakvNZ pic.twitter.com/DUh1bN6Wa8— Dennis Kaptaan (@DennisCricket_) December 26, 2022
The Karachi boys in front of their home crowd 👏💚 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/KN4XSLbX4v— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) December 26, 2022