Rizwan, Malik miss Pakistan's training on Wednesday with mild flu

Rizwan, Malik miss Pakistan's training on Wednesday with mild flu



Both players were tested for Covid-19 and they tested negative

Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik were initially advised to delay training and then allowed to miss training altogether.

Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik missed Pakistan's training session on Wednesday with mild flu, a day before their semi-final with Australia in Dubai.

Both players were tested for Covid-19 and both tested negative. As with the rest of their squad, they have cleared regular Covid-19 testing through the tournament, including one a couple of days ago. That is part of the ICC's policy to encourage teams to test as often as possible.

The pair woke up on Wednesday morning with what an official described as "light flu and low fever" and were initially advised to delay training. That advice then changed to allow them to miss training altogether.

Pakistan are not overly concerned at the moment about their participation in Thursday's game, and will be reviewing their status in the morning again.

Rizwan and Malik have been key performers in Pakistan's unbeaten run to the semi-final and losing either of them would be the first, real blow they have suffered in this campaign.

Of batters still in the tournament, Rizwan is the third-highest run-getter, just behind his opening partner and captain Babar Azam. He is also an important part of Pakistan's on-field leadership.

Malik, meanwhile, has beefed up Pakistan's middle order, with important contributions in two chases against New Zealand and Afghanistan. Against Scotland he hit the tournament's joint-fastest fifty and the fastest by a Pakistani in a T20I, and currently holds a strike rate of 187 in this World Cup.

Pakistan have options as replacements should the need arise. Sarfaraz Ahmed, the former captain, would be the straight swap for Rizwan behind the stumps - and for the leadership value he would bring to a side that still respects him from the days he was captain. Haider Ali would likely step in for Malik, which could push Fakhar Zaman up to open alongside Babar.

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