Sarfaraz will be first-choice wicketkeeper in Sri Lanka: Babar Azam

Babar Azam has revealed that Sarfaraz Ahmed will be the first-choice wicketkeeper for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

During the press conference on Thursday in Karachi, Babar was asked if Sarfaraz could play purely as a batsman in the series, Babar responded with a question of his own, asking if the journalist believed Sarfaraz could contribute solely as a batsman.

He then expressed his confidence in Sarfaraz’s abilities and stated that the former captain had performed exceptionally well in the last series.

“Sarfaraz bhai performed really well in last series. He will be my first choice as [wicketkeeper]. However, we will make a final decision after reaching there and looking at the combination. We will select the best possible team.”

During the Pakistan’s last Test series against New Zealand, Sarfaraz replaced Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s Test vice-captain, and demonstrated his batting prowess. Sarfaraz accumulated an impressive total of 335 runs with an average of 83.75, making him the highest run-scorer of the series. For his significant contributions with the bat, he was rightfully awarded the Player of the Series title.

The decision to replace Rizwan with Sarfaraz stems from Rizwan’s admitted poor form during the home series against England. Rizwan struggled with the bat, scoring 141 runs in six innings at an average of 23.50 and failing to reach a single fifty score.

Babar also addressed the question of whether the vice-captain’s inclusion in the playing XI is necessary.

“I don’t think it is necessary. If a vice-captain doesn’t play, then it doesn’t really have any sort of effect. We will select the playing XI based on conditions,” he added.

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