A late injury setback for Haris Sohail means Shan Masood will take his place in Pakistan's starting eleven for the Centurion Test. Haris, who has had knee troubles for much of his career, saw another knee injury flare up, forcing him up onto the sidelines.
The Pakistan team management confirmed to ESPNcricinfo the change would have to be made just 90 minutes ahead of the scheduled start. It is a blow to Pakistan's hopes of standing firm against an intimidating South African attack, with Haris one of the players in impressive touch across the home summer. Two centuries against Australia and New Zealand had been accompanied by a string of medium-sized scores, seeming to suggest Haris' career was back on track after lengthy injury layoffs.
This is the second time injury has struck Haris on a tour of South Africa. When Pakistan toured here in 2013, an ankle injury ruled him out of making what would have been his international debut.
Haris' replacement, Masood, has not played international cricket in over a year, dropped after several low scores across series against England, West Indies and Sri Lanka. Masood has, however, been performing impressively for a number of months on the domestic circuit since. He scored 161 against England Lions in Dubai last month, and was in contention to open the batting had Pakistan opted to drop Fakhar Zaman or Imam-ul-Haq.
Masood had made his Test debut against South Africa in 2013, in Abu Dhabi. He scored 75 in his first innings as Pakistan won by seven wickets on that occasion. Since, however, he has managed to add just another two fifties and one hundred in 23 innings, his career average standing at 23.54.