Pakistan goes into the Boxing Day match against Australia on a 15-match Test losing streak, and not having won Down Under since November 1995.
The team’s ever-expanding injury list heading into the Melbourne Cricket Ground match won’t make ending the streak any easier.
Pakistan spinner Noman Ali became the second player in two days to withdraw from the touring squad for the remainder of the three-Test series due to illness and injury. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz will replace Ali in the squad, the selection committee said on the weekend.
Ali, who didn’t play in the 360-run defeat in the first Test at Perth last week, underwent surgery for appendicitis in Melbourne on Saturday.
“Noman Ali complained of sudden and severe abdominal pain yesterday, leading to examinations and scans in emergency that confirmed a diagnosis of acute appendicitis,” a Pakistan team statement read. “Post-surgery he is stable and doing fine. He will be discharged later (on Saturday).”
The latest blow for the tourists comes after fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, who took match figures of 5-128 in his impressive test debut in Perth, was ruled out for the remainder of the series with a rib stress fracture and muscle tear on Thursday.
Leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, who missed out the first test, was also ruled out of the test because of a leg injury.