Babar’s absence a major setback for Pakistan, says Waqar Younis

Pakistan's bowling coach Waqar Younis felt Babar Azam's absence from the T20 series is an opportunity for others to step up.

Waqar Younis.

Pakistan's bowling coach Waqar Younis said the quarantine rules in New Zealand have hampered the team’s preparations..   -  Getty Images

Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis on Sunday termed the ouster of top batsman and captain, Babar Azam, from the upcoming T20 series in New Zealand a big blow to the touring side.

Waqar admitted that Babar’s absence will have an impact on Pakistan’s chances of winning the three-match series.

“There is no doubt that Babar is one of the best players in the world now in any format. So it is a major setback for us. Other teams are scared of him,” Waqar said from New Zealand during a media interaction with Pakistani journalists.

“It is unfortunate that it (injury) happened at the wrong time, just at the stroke of the the series starting.”

Azam sustained the injury on his right thumb at Queenstown during Pakistan team’s practice session.

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Waqar, however, insisted that such things were part and parcel of the sport and it is now an opportunity for others to step up and make use of the opportunities.

Waqar said that with Babar not available, the management will have to shuffle the batting order and revisit the combinations.

He also admitted that the players are slowly getting back to normal cricket after their long quarantine period in Christchurch.

He said the quarantine had hampered the team’s preparations.

“I know the circumstances are not normal for us due to Covid-19 and teams are facing problems on tours. But we all have got to deal with this and it is our job to get the best out of players,” he said.

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