Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur hinted that middle-order batsman Mohammad Rizwan or left-handed opener Sharjeel Khan might gain a cap in the second Test against New Zealand which starts in Hamilton on Friday.
The visitors will be without their captain Misbahul Haq, who left for Pakistan after the first Test in Christchurch due to sudden death of his father-in-law.
Speaking during an interview with cricket website, Arthur said both Rizwan and Sharjeel are good options to replace Misbah.
“We’ve got two options,” he said. “Rizwan can slot into the middle-order – he’s travelled around with us for a long time. He’s trained with us. He went through the England series. That’s one option. Or we can have a look at Sharjeel Khan.”
However, the 48-year-old suggested that Rizwan might be preferred over Sharjeel, whose inclusion will result in major shuffling in the batting order.
“If we use Sharjeel at the top of the order, we have to make quite a few changes,” he said. “Azhar might have to go back down to three, with Babar Azam sliding down to sixth, and Asad Shafiq might have to go back up. That’s a lot of disruptions to our batting order.”
Talking about selection of bowlers for the all-important game, Arthur said that he is open to bringing pacer Wahab Riaz back in the starting line-up. “Wahab is an option for us since it is more likely that the ball’s going to reverse swing here,” he said.
The former Australia and South African coach further added: “Wahab has pace and ability to get the ball to reverse swing. He is a phenomenal bowler. We’ve just got to use him when the conditions are right. Then he becomes our trump card.”
After the conclusion of ongoing Test series against New Zealand, Pakistan will begin their tour of Australia, which includes three Tests and five ODIs, starting with a day-night Test in Brisbane next month.