Sarfaraz official captain, substitute Rizwan actually captains: Social media in splits on Pakistan's captaincy roulette during New Zealand Test

Pakistan were part of a dramatic captaincy shuffle on the field during Day 3 of the Karachi Test against New Zealand after Babar Azam left the field with sickness.ย 

If you have a thing for sporting humour, Pakistan cricket is a gift that continues to give. In their latest shenanigan, Pakistan came out fielding with their left-out wicketkeeper-batter and captaincy deputy Mohammad Rizwan regaining leadership of the side as a substitute on Day 3 of the Karachi Test against New Zealand. 

Rizwan was sporadically Pakistan's stand-in skipper after regular captain Babar Azam had to leave the field due to an injury. It made for a funny occurrence, where Pakistan, who didn't appoint a new vice-captain after leaving out their deputy, had to fall on him for leadership after making him their substitute to the original captain. 

One would think the drama ended there. But no, Pakistan had to then ask Rizwan to shed stand-in captaincy, too, as the on-field regulations of the game don't allow for a substitute to take over the interim captaincy. It meant that former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is making his return to the Test team after nearly 4 years, got the chance to lead the side again in an amusing sequence of events. 

Fans react to Pakistan's funny captaincy shuffle 

The Rizwan-Sarfaraz switch only became clear when Pakistan asked for a review to get New Zealand opener Devon Conway dismissed LBW off the bowling of left-arm spinner Nauman Ali. When the standing umpire didn't cater to the Pakistani appeal, Rizwan and Sarfaraz entered into a discussion with the bowler and it was Sarfaraz who did the DRS gesture towards the officiating umpires. 

That clarified to the keenly looking fans who exactly is at the helm of affairs after Pakistan didn't help the confusion by appointing a substitute as their captain and then having to revert to an ex-captain, who replaced the substituted individual into the playing XI.

Here is how the fans reacted: 

Babar Azam didn't take the field due to a viral flu, making it necessary for Pakistan to appoint a stand-in captain after failing to appoint one formally before the game. It led to a funny situation wherein Rizwan, who was axed from the team, getting to briefly lead the side as a tactical substitute before handing over the reigns to ex captain Sarfaraz. 

Sarfaraz's departure from the helm back in 2019 paved the way for Babar's ascent to the captaincy and gave Rizwan the tag of Pakistan's first-choice keeper across formats.