Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah hurt his back during a training session at the Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns on Tuesday, and will miss his team’s warm-up game at the same venue later this week as a result. He is being treated for the issue by a doctor in Cairns, and has been advised a few days’ rest.
Pakistan will play a three-day tour game against a Cricket Australia XI from December 8. The three-Test series starts on December 15 in Brisbane.
Since his debut in October 2014, Yasir has quickly developed into Pakistan’s first-choice spinner and has missed just one Test, against England in Abu Dhabi in October last year – he had to sit out that game due to back spasms. In his 20 Tests, he has picked up 116 wickets at 27.89, and became the joint second-fastest to 100 Test wickets (17 matches) in Dubai earlier this year in what was Pakistan’s 400th Test. In July, he became the first legspinner since Shane Warne to be ranked the No. 1 Test bowler, and the first Pakistan bowler since Mushtaq Ahmed in December 1996 to achieve that feat.
Among the 16 players named by Pakistan for the Australia Tests, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz is the only other specialist spinner.