Pakistan captain Azhar Ali had endured a horror-stint in not only his brief leadership tenure but also as a batsman. Azhar, who has been the spearhead of Pakistan Test batting for a large part of this decade is going through an extended slump a.
In 14 Tests since January 2018, Ali has managed just 638 runs at an average of 24.53 with one hundred. And, 2019 has been even worse. Since, January this year, Azhar Ali has hobbled to 121 runs in five Tests at an average of 13.44 with the highest score of 39.
Naturally, with the team not performing and his bat not doing the talking, Azhar Ali has been under considerable pressure with editorials being churned out and media along with former cricketers raising questions on his form. However, the Pakistani captain feels that it is completely fine for people to criticize when you are not performing. Ali also hoped that he will turn around his fortunes with the bat in Karachi.
“When you perform, people praise you and when you don’t, you are criticized. I am waiting for a big knock and I will try to play that one here in Karachi against Sri Lanka. When you play international cricket and you don’t perform then criticism is justified and you’ll have to take it positively.”
“Definitely I am unable to do what I am supposed to be doing and I am trying to overcome that. I am still working hard and will keep trying,” the Test captain side while adding that the moment he felt he is unable to keep the mark, he’ll sideline himself.” Azhar Ali told media in the pre-match conference ahead of the Karachi Test.
Fawad Alam unlikely to be included in the second Test
Coming back to the Test match, Azhar Ali was confident that Pakistan will mark the historic occasion by winning the Test and also hoped to gain 60 ICC Test championship points.
“We want to make this occasion of test cricket revival memorable by winning the Test match here and will give our best to win the series. We have this opportunity to take the home advantage here as home series always provide good opportunities to all the teams in a Test championship,” he said.
Speaking about the possible playing 11 and about the prospect of Fawad Alam featuring in the Karachi Test, Ali indicated that Alam is unlikely to make the eleven as the team-management is looking to continue with the same combination barring one forced change in Usman Shinwari, who is set to be replaced by leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
“We are considering various combinations for the Karachi Test. We will go in the middle with the best combination tomorrow. We will have to keep a balance between bat and ball while making final XI, such XI that also keeps all options open for us,” Ali said.
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