Saturday December 04, 2021

Pakistan plan continuous pressure on BD

November 26, 2021
Pakistan plan continuous pressure on BD

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan are planning hard and persistent cricket against Bangladesh as the two-match Test series in connection with the World Test Championship gets underway with the opening Test in Chattogram from today (Friday).

In a virtual media talk Thursday, Pakistan captain Babar Azam besides announcing his 12-man squad for the opening Test also unveiled his plans for the two-match series.

“When it comes to Test cricket, the demands are different. There is a requirement to show patience and at the same time play hard professional cricket. Test cricket is indeed a real form of the game and it should be played and treated accordingly. We are coming out of a 3-0 whitewash in the T20 series. Here we have to change the gear pursuing our brand of cricket that is tough and hard. At the same time patience will be the keyword as you need to play your game according to the given conditions.”

Babar admitted that the hosts were going into the series missing some key players including Shakibul Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, and even pacer Taskin Ahmed. “Yet we should not take the hosts lightly. Every team is tough at home. Bangladesh has proved in the past that they have a computable unit when it comes to playing in their own backyard. So we have to be conscious and will have to carry on the pressure on the host that we have shown in the T 20 series.”

The captain was happy with the players’ progress in domestic cricket and hoped that they would carry that form into Test cricket.

“Majority of our Test players are coming out of the domestic cricket where they have shown exceptional form. Hopefully, they will carry that form into the Test series against Bangladesh. Imamaul Haq and a few others are in good form.”

As a captain Babar was amazed at the way his charges had been responding.

“We believe in team effort and it is the whole team that helps in executing your plan. I am happy that players have responded tremendously in the recent past making my job easier as a captain. Every player knows well what the team requires of him. They are making the best of their talent that ultimately comes in handy for the team.”

Babar hoped Pakistan players would adjust to changed conditions. “The pitch on which we are playing from Friday is a typical Bangladeshi surface having some grass on it. You never know what would be the final shape of the track Friday morning but I have a firm belief that team members would try to adjust to the conditions quickly. The touring squad has all the guts to do that considering the vast experience the likes of Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam have.”

The skipper added that though they hardly got the opportunity to prepare well for Test cricket, players would have to adjust as they are professionals. “Every player is ready for a longer format knowing well that amid Covid-19, it is difficult to get a longer training period for a changed format.”

Pakistan has left out Saud Shakil as Babar believed he had picked the best possible 12.

“The final 11 will be named once we see the playing surface Friday morning. These are the best 12 for the first Test considering the conditions here.”

It is expected that Pakistan may pick one from Faheem Ashraf and Sajjid Khan considering the state of the pitch early Friday morning.

Pakistan squad for the first Test against Bangladesh: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Abdullah Shafiq, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imamul Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajjid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi.