Azhar Ali Asserts Pakistan Has A Balanced Squad And Positive Of Their Chances In England

Azhar Ali Asserts Pakistan Has A Balanced Squad And Positive Of Their Chances In England
Azhar Ali. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali has asserted positivity ahead of the challenge they will face in England in the bilateral series. Azhar Ali’s men reached the shores of United Kingdom a month ago, preparing themselves through warm-up games ahead of the three-Test series. Pakistan will lock horns against Joe Root’s England in the first of the three-Test series, beginning on the 5th of August in Manchester under the bio-secure environment.

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The Pakistan team have reasons to be proud of their recent series record in England. The last two times the men in green visited England for Test matches, they drew the series. The team led by Misbah-Ul-Haq drew the four-Test series in 2016 while Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men did the same in a two-Test rubber in 2018. However, the last time Pakistan won in England was back in 1996.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi (Credits: Twitter)

Azhar Ali heaped praises on rookie pacers Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who will tour England for the first time. He said that the experience of Mohammad Abbas and Sohail Khan is coming very handy in guiding the youngsters. The veteran went on to emphasize the experience and value Yasir Shah brings to the squad, who would enjoy bowling if the wickets in England are slow.

Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah celebrating with his teammates (Credits: Twitter)

The way Naseem and Shaheen have bowled in recent series, I as captain feel very lucky to have them in my squad. The best thing is that we have experience in the shape of Abbas. Sohail Khan is also on this tour and he is also sharing his experience with the players. “I think our bowlers will get a lot of advantage. Yasir Shah is there as well who has ample experience. He is a leg-spinner and his guidance for young players is also very important,” Ali stated as quoted by News 18.

“Slowly but surely, we are getting better with training and the players are recovering their form” : Azhar Ali

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali (Credits: Twitter)

The 36-year old brushed aside any concerns about lack of competitive match practice ahead of this critical Test series. The right-handed batsman mentioned that the players are in good form, balance is right, and went on to applaud their past performances in England.

Sometimes you score runs and sometimes you don’t. Our players however seem to be in good touch. The balance of the side is also very good. Pakistan always performs well in England,” the Lahore-born batsman conceded.

He admitted that due to the COVID-19-enforced lockdown, bowlers especially initially seemed rusty in the training camps. Nevertheless, they are gradually hitting the stride and the workload for the fast bowlers have been apt. While the tourists have got some experienced and potent bunch of bowlers, their batting is a slight concern.

Babar Azam undoubtedly would be critical to their success while focus will also be on Azhar Ali, whose form has dipped over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, England will head to the series, having beaten West Indies by 2-1 in the three-Test series that marked the return of international cricket after nearly four months.

Because of coronavirus we have been in lockdown for quite some time. This has been a challenging experience and in the start the players did seem a little rusty in camps especially in terms of bowling. Slowly but surely, we are getting better with training and the players are recovering their form. The workload for the fast-bowlers has been good,” the skipper added further.

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