All focus on upcoming Test series, says Azhar Ali after crushing Australia defeat

December 06, 2019

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Azhar Ali speaks to the media on Friday following Pakistan's Australia tour. — DawnNewsTV
Azhar Ali speaks to the media on Friday following Pakistan's Australia tour. — DawnNewsTV

Test captain Azhar Ali, while addressing a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday, said all the focus will now be on the upcoming Test series in Pakistan with Sri Lanka.

Ali made these comments following Pakistan's crushing defeat by Australia in Adelaide earlier in the week.

On Monday, Australia beat Pakistan by an innings and 48 runs in the second Test at Adelaide Oval to sweep their two-Test series 2-0. Australia won the first Test in Brisbane by an innings and five runs.

The current results mean that Pakistan have been defeated in 13 consecutive Tests on Australian shores.

Ali maintained that the players will take time to recuperate and get back in form, adding that this will be the first Test in Pakistan for many of the players.

Read: PCB announces Rs50 tickets for Sri Lanka Tests

"It is important for us to play well in this series. We have a fresh batting line up," he said.

Commenting on criticism regarding his decisions as captain, Ali said that one needs to make changes when the opposing side is continuing to score. "You have to use your backups. You cannot keep depending on Shaheen Shah and Yasir Shah," he said.

When things start to go awry on the pitch, even an aggressive captain has to take a step back, he said.

When questioned whether his knee injury has had an impact on his performance, Ali stated that there were at least two to three players on each cricket team with a knee injury.

"You cannot say that I am unable to score because of my injuries. If there is an issue with my fitness, it will be picked up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)," he said.

He said that the team had initially formulated a clear plan to counter Australia's David Warner. "However, we were unable to execute it which caused us to suffer," he said. "Even when you are struggling in a match, a small give in the opposing side can quickly turn the tables. But we were not able to get back on track."

He maintained that typically South Africa's pitches are difficult for batting while Australia's are relatively simpler. Despite this, we were not able to score, he lamented.

Wrapping up the press conference, Ali stated that the plan of action now is to focus on the coming matches. "We have to figure out how to win Tests in Pakistan," he said.

Test cricket is set to return to Pakistan after a long gap of 10 years when Sri Lanka tour the country for a two-match series at Rawalpindi and Karachi on Dec 11 and Dec 19, respectively.