Sarfraz Ahmed did not take the field on the fourth morning of the second Test in Abu Dhabi, after he woke up in the morning complaining of a headache. He has been taken to hospital for what management said were precautionary scans.
His place behind the stumps was taken by Mohammad Rizwan and on the field as captain by Asad Shafiq.
Sarfraz ducked into a back of length delivery from Peter Siddle in the 89th over of Pakistan's innings on the third afternoon. The ball struck him close to his left ear as he turned his head away. He was on 32 at the time and required treatment. He then batted on for nearly 30 overs without any apparent discomfort, the second last man to be dismissed for 81.
Sarfraz has been in the trenches through what has been a redemptive Test. He was hit on his left forearm by a Mitchell Starc short ball on the first day, late in his innings of 94. Rizwan was actually called back into the squad on the basis of that blow and could have kept wickets on the second day under new rules that allow a substitute fielder to take the gloves.
In the event, Sarfraz was fit enough to take his place on the field an enjoyed a productive day as Australia were bowled out for 145.
It is not yet clear how long Sarfraz will stay off the field.