Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has reacted to his team’s disappointing defeat to England in the first Test. The Azhar Ali-led side were on top of the proceedings for most part of the game but failed to deliver the final blow as England staged a remarkable comeback to win the game by three wickets.
After taking a 107 run lead and setting England a target of 277, Pakistan were looking set to win the game when they reduced the home side to 117 for 5. However, the Pakistan bowlers had no answer to Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler’s stunning counterattack as the England stars scored quick fifties to take their team home in style.
The duo shared a decisive 139-run stand before Buttler was dismissed for 75 when the hosts needed only 21 runs. Woakes, on the other hand, remained till the end and scored an unbeaten 84 to guide his team home.
Sarfaraz Ahmed’s reaction:
In the wake of the defeat from a very strong position, Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has been facing criticism from several quarters. He is facing the heat for his captaincy decisions in the game. And as Azhar Ali gears up to lead the side in the crucial second Test, he has received some much-needed support from his predecessor Sarfaraz Ahmed who was benched for the series-opener.
The former Pakistan captain backed his successor and said that Pakistan will bounce back after the bitter defeat in the first Test. Backing Azhar’s captaincy, Sarfaraz Ahmed tweeted:
“Bhayya stay strong, InshaAllah, we will bounce back Pakistan zindabad.”
— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) August 10, 2020
Earlier, Azhar had hit back at his critics and maintained that every time the captain cannot be blamed and credit must be given to England.
“It is easy to criticize with hindsight but we also need to acknowledge if someone posts a partnership like that. Every time you can’t blame the captaincy but I am here to take responsibility that we could not defend a total, as a team, which we should have,” Azhar said while talking to reporters during virtual press-conference.
“When I bat, I am not thinking about the captaincy, whether or not I am out of form, and when I am captain, I do not think about my batting at all,” he added.
The second match of the three-match series will start on Thursday in Southampton.
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