This is the second time Haris Sohail has been struck with an injury while touring South Africa. In 2013, an ankle injury ruled him denying what would be his debut Test. @ Twitter/ICC
This is the second time Haris Sohail has been struck with an injury while touring South Africa. In 2013, an ankle injury ruled him denying what would be his debut Test. @ Twitter/ICC

In their quest to bounce back after a disappointing campaign in the UAE where they were handed a 1-2 Test series defeat against an inspiring New Zealand side, Pakistan suffered a severe blow when Haris Sohail was ruled out for their opening Test against South Africa at the Centurion beginning on Wednesday.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Sohail, who has been in good touch scoring two centuries against Australia and New Zealand after overcoming injury layoffs, saw his knee issue flare up which prompted the team management to drop the batsman. Sohail makes way for Shan Masood in the playing XI.

Pakistan vs South Africa, 1st Test: SCORECARD

Pakistan have already incurred a major blow in the bowling department when pace spearhead Mohammad Abbas was ruled out of the Boxing Day Test with a shoulder injury. Hasan Ali, teen sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Amir will take up the seam bowling responsibilities.

Incidentally, this is the second time Haris has been struck with an injury while touring South Africa. In 2013, an ankle injury ruled him denying what would be his debut Test.

Haris’ replacement Masood, who made his Test debut against South Africa in 2013, has played 12 Tests with several low scores in England, West Indies and Sri Lanka leading to his omission from the squad.

Shan Masood. @ Twitter/ICC
Shan Masood. @ Twitter/ICC

However, he has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. He scored 161 against England Lions in Dubai last month, and was in line to open the batting if the think tank dropped Fakhar Zaman or Imam-ul-Haq. He has just two fifties and one hundred in 23 innings with an average of 23.54.