Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has imposed faith on captain Azhar Ali to perform in the remaining two Tests after losing the opening Test of the three-match series against England.
Waqar said that apart from being the captain of the side, Azhar is also a top-order batsman and, thus, plays a double role in the team. But he believed the skipper would use his experience to deliver in the upcoming fixtures.
“Being a captain and playing in the top order is not easy. He’s been captain before as well, so he’ll understand that. When you’re in bad form or have had a bad game, everything gets scrutinised. I’ve been captain myself so I know what he’s going through. You have several more responsibilities, and on top of all that, you have to focus on your batting as well,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Younis as saying.
“Like I said, if we’d won this match, then he’d get a lot more encouragement and confidence. But he’s a seasoned player who has played 80 Tests and scored runs in England before, too. He knows how to come out of these situations and I expect him to deliver in the upcoming two Test matches,” he added.
“We haven’t decided who we’re going to play at the moment, but we haven’t played any cricket for a long period of time,” he said.
“It’s been five months since we last played a Test. I don’t think tiredness is an issue with the team. Yes, it’s very hot here, but it’s going to cool down in the next few days, and I’m sure they’ve got plenty of gas left the tank to tackle this Test and we’ll
see how it goes after,” Younis adde.
Meanwhile, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler had scripted an incredible victory for England team in the first Test. The duo shared a ballistic 139-run partnership for the sixth wicket rescue England from 117/5 and take them 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Woakes remained unbeaten in his 120-ball knock of 84 runs after Buttler was sent back to the pavilion at the fag end of England’s successful chase of 277 runs. The wicketkeeper-batsman contributed 75 runs in 101 deliveries. However, Woakes made sure to see his team through and also hit the winning runs.
The second Test between England and Pakistan will begin on Thursday.