Pakistan's top pacer Mohammad Abbas faces a blow

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Pakistan's top pacer Mohammad Abbas faces a blow

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Abbas faces a setback.

He has been ruled out from the opening Test against South Africa starting from December 26.

The bowler suffered shoulder injury during the second Test against New Zealand. He also missed the series decider against the Kiwis — which Pakistan lost by 123 runs earlier this month.

Mohammad Amir — who was sidelined after below-par performance in the Asia Cup — is set to replace the injured pacer. He is expected to feature alongside fellow pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi — who made his debut against New Zealand in the recently concluded Test series in UAE - and Hasan Ali.

Meanwhile, the opening slot, which was vacant after the retirement of veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, will now be filled by returning left-hander Fakhar Zaman.