Babar tipped to make debut after Younis pulls out
KARACHI, Pakistan, CMC:
West Indies could be facing further torment from in-form opener Babar Azam, with speculation rife that the right-hander is likely to replace Younis Khan, who opted out of consideration for selection for the opening Test as he recovers from a bout of dengue.
The 21-year-old Babar blasted centuries in each of the three One-Day Internationals against West Indies, which Pakistan won convincingly last week and now seems set to get the call from selectors to replace the veteran Younis.
"Younis has ruled himself out of the first Test and has asked for another eight to 10 days to make a complete recovery," a Pakistan Cricket Board official was quoted as saying.
The 38-year-old, who requires another 544 runs to become the first Pakistani to reach 10,000 runs in Tests, spent a week in hospital recently after being admitted with high fever and fatigue.
And while he has resumed training, media reports said Younis did not feel sufficiently strong to suit up for the first Test, bowling off next Thursday in Dubai.
His absence means consideration for Babar, who has played 18 ODIs and four Twenty20 Internationals but is yet to make his Test debut.
He raised eyebrows in recent weeks by pummelling scores of 120, 123, and 117 to become only the second batsman ever to score a century in each game of a three-match ODI series.
The first Test in Dubai will be a historic affair as it will be played under lights with the pink ball. It will only be the second such day-night Test, following on from Australia's clash with New Zealand last year in Adelaide.