Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas has been ruled out of the first Test against South Africa due to an injury. The 28-year-old, who missed the final Test against New Zealand with a shoulder injury, is hopeful of returning to the squad for the second Test, International Cricket Council (ICC) reported in an official release. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who is also suffering from a groin injury is also expected to return for the visitors in the second match.

Other specialist seams in the squad include Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Afridi, while Faheem Ashraf provides an all-rounder option. “Abbas is not fit for the first Test, hopefully, he will be fit for the second Test,” Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said on Monday.

Along with Abbas, leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who is suffering a groin injury, will also make a comeback for the second Test.

“Shadab Khan, too, will be back for the second Test, but Fakhar Zaman is fit,” Ahmed added. In his Test career, Abbas has scalped 61 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 16.62.

Abbas will be sorely missed by Pakistan. He has enjoyed a superb start to his Test career, taking 61 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 16.62. Pakistan’s other specialist seamers in the squad are Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Afridi, while Faheem Ashraf provides an all-round option.

Pakistan and South Africa are slated to play three Test matches beginning from December 26, followed by five ODIs and then three T20Is.