Pakistan will receive a much-needed boost with the expected return of Mohammad Yousuf in time for the second Test against South Africa which begins on January 19 at Port Elizabeth.
Yousuf missed the first Test, currently underway at Centurion, to be with his wife for the birth of their child. It was expected that Yousuf would miss the second Test, and possibly the entire series after complications with the pregnancy. His wife was due for surgery on January 12 or 19 but the couple had a baby girl on Friday, thus allowing Yousuf to plan for South Africa.
A PCB spokesman told Mag4you, "Yousuf will be traveling to South Africa in the next couple of days, so he should be there comfortably in time for the second Test. We are pleased that he is out of what had become, understandably for him and his family, a stressful situation."
Pakistan missed Yousuf's experience during the first innings at Centurion, squandering a solid start with rash hook shots. Their entire middle order succumbed to the shot as Pakistan collapsed from 183 for two to 313 all out. Yousuf scored a record 1788 runs from 11 Tests last year, with nine hundreds at an average of nearly hundred.
Yousuf's arrival will further bolster a squad struck by injuries, but recently strengthened by the return of Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib was not picked in the original 17-man squad, but an injury to Umar Gul paved the way for his recall and Shoaib was seen in the Pakistan dressing-room on the second day of the Test.
Along with Gul, Shoaib Malik is also out with an injury and Abdul Razzaq, their allrounder, is out of the entire Test series with a calf injury.