Monday February 06, 2023

Babar Azam looks to turn the tide in Karachi Test

Babar concedes wicket of Karachi will back spinners in third Test against England starting today

December 17, 2022
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. - Twitter/ @ICC
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. - Twitter/ @ICC

KARACHI: Pakistan were seen just falling behind England in the previous two Tests in Rawalpindi and Multan which had invited criticism over the plans of the hosts and their approach to red-ball cricket.

And it was evident that the team did not properly execute the plans against a highly aggressive England which have brought a huge difference to test cricket with their killer instinct.

However, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Friday said that they would try not to repeat mistakes which they had done in the previous two games and would pull off the desired results in the Karachi Test which will begin on Saturday (today) here at the National Bank Cricket Arena.

“We will try to pull off results in our favour. In the previous matches whatever mistakes we made which we could have avoided, effort would be made to avoid them,” Babar told reporters on Friday. “And if the things are in our hands effort will be made to finish them,” he added.

Babar conceded that the wicket of Karachi will back the spinners.

“The wicket is dry and it seems to be a typical Karachi wicket. The weather is also hot here and hopefully it will help the spinners,” he said.

Babar also revealed that opener Imam-ul-Haq will be missing the final Test due to hamstring injury.

Babar said it did not mean that they had no plans but they did not execute them in the previous two matches which Pakistan lost by 74 runs and 26 runs in Pindi and Multan respectively.

“Our plan is simple. Every team has its own plan and plays with its own style. We will be trying to execute our plans which is the key thing,” said Babar. “If you execute the plans rightly you get the results. Yes we have discussed these things where we could do well and where we did well and how we could do much better,” he said.

Asked about the injuries to some players Babar said it was due to persistent cricket which caused these issues.

“We played a lot of cricket during the last one and a half year everywhere and we did not get time for rest. I think injuries came because of this thing,” he said.

“Its part of the game as injuries come but we have to see this thing. There is no excuse because we know the load of cricket and the whole schedule,” Babar added.

Asked about the new aggressive flavour which has been put by England in Test cricket and Pakistan's response Babar said: “You play Test cricket like test cricket and you make slight adjustments according to the situation.” “You go session by session. Sometimes you go for attack and sometimes you are to be defensive. Its all sort of planning and is the beauty of test cricket. The thing is to avoid mistakes,” said Babar, one of the most accomplished batsmen of the world.

When asked whether former Pakistan captain Azhar will be given his farewell Test in Karachi Babar said they will decide the final team during the night.

Azhar Ali on Friday announced his retirement from Test cricket and is available for the Karachi Test. Babar paid tribute to Azhar for the way he served Pakistan and backed youngsters.

“I congratulate Azhar Ali who had a fantastic career,” he said. “He was an inspiration for us and for the youngsters as his entire career remained very well and he extended some top performances,” Babar said.