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  1. #1
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    Azhar Ali expects Pakistan fast-bowlers to come good on tour of Ireland and England

    While noting that Pakistan have been playing relatively less number of Test matches in recent times, experienced batsman Azhar Ali on Wednesday said all players, including seniors, would have to share responsibility in the tough Test series in England.

    “Yes Pakistan is getting less number of Test matches, [whereas] we should be playing more, as the five-day game improves your cricket,” Azhar told reporters on a question regarding less number of Tests Pakistan have been playing of late.

    The 33-year-old top-order batsman was speaking to media on the opening day of the national camp for probables here at the Gaddafi Stadium ahead of Pakistan’s tour to Ireland and England starting next month.

    Pakistan last featured in a Test more than six months ago — Oct 6-10 to be exact — when they played against Sri Lanka at Dubai in the final Test of a two-match rubber.

    These Tests against Sri Lanka came, following a gap of four and a half months, after Pakistan faced the West Indies in an away two-Test series in April-May 2017.

    “We are playing Test cricket after a considerable gap of six to seven months. However, we have got good time to prepare, both in Pakistan as well as in England. If the weather remains fine, we will get good number of days before we face Ireland [in the one-ff Test match],” he said.

    Pakistan are scheduled to play their next Test from May 11-15 against Ireland, who would be featuring in their inaugural five-day game, at Dublin. Pakistan then clash with England for a short two-Test battle starting with the first match at Lord’s on May 24.

    On their last tour to England in 2017, Azhar recalled, Pakistan had reached the destination some 25 days before the start of the ICC Champions Trophy, adding the move paid rich dividends. Pakistan, then eighth in ICC ODI rankings, from nowhere stunned the cricketing world by clinching the prestigious Trophy outplaying arch-rivals India in the high-pressure final at The Oval.

    In Test matches however, Pakistan of late have been found wanting. They were swept clean by Sri Lanka 2-0 in the UAE last year, their first Test campaign under Sarfraz Ahmed.

    On what he was expecting in the Test series in England, when leg-spinner Yasir Shah and opener Shan Masood (both injured) were not available, Azhar said everybody had their role to play.

    “Obviously, the pressure is on senior members of the team and [considering this] I will try to come up to the team’s expectations. Having said this, there is responsibility on everyone and every member has to back each other to get better results,” the 62-Test veteran stressed.

    After the retirement of veteran batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan the responsibility on seniors had increased, noted Azhar.

    “Though Pakistan lost two Test matches to Sri Lanka [in the UAE], there were some positives too in that series; Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq produced some excellent knocks under tough conditions,” Azhar said.

    Personally, Azhar said, he was seeking to score a century at Lord’s — which is one of the primary desires of every cricketer — while steering Pakistan to victory.

    To a question, he said Yasir’s absence was a major loss for Pakistan noting the leg-spinner had been playing vital role in the team’s victories particularly against England.

    Speaking on Ireland, Azhar said, “They are a good side. They have beaten us in ODI cricket in the past. I congratulate them on getting the Test status and hope they would be good opponents in this format too.”

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1401005/pa...says-azhar-ali

  2. #2
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    Azhar Ali backs Pakistan pacers to trouble England

    Pakistan opener Azhar Ali believes English condition will favour fast-bowlers and his compatriot pacers have the ability to trouble the hosts.

    The right-handed opener was talking to media when he said that England will have home advantage but Pakistan are ready for the challenge.

    “Home side always has an advantage when it comes to playing in certain conditions,” said Azhar. “England will come hard at us because they are coming back from losses against New Zealand away from home. They will try to win their home series.”

    He added: “The conditions there will favour fast-bowlers. We have a good bunch. They will trouble the England batsmen.”

    ‘We should back youngsters’

    The 33-year-old, when asked how the Test team will fare in the absence of veterans Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan in England, said youngsters need backing to deliver results.

    “English conditions would be tough. They will be a challenge for everyone. Even players who have played there need time to adjust in English conditions,” explained Azhar.

    He continued by laying down a plan to upstage England on their home turf. “We should back our youngsters who are going on the tour. When you have a new team and you are going on a tough tour, obviously it poses a big challenge, but if we play as a unit, back each other, then we can extract good performances.”

    When asked if the longest-format team is going to face the same fate as it did against Sri Lanka in the UAE, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat in the two-match series, Azhar said there were a lot of positive in the series too.

    “There were good signs in the series too,” he said. “Haris Sohail made his debut and scored runs. Asad Shafiq scored a century at the end. All these were positive signs.”

    Meanwhile, he did push the batsmen to do more. “But yes there were batting collapses too. Players didn’t convert their starts into big scores. I think batsmen need to work on that.”

    Personal goals

    Azhar, like all cricketers, wants his name on the Lord’s honours board and he wants to do that with a ton, but without pressuring himself with the task.

    “The first Test is at Lord’s. Everyone wishes to have their name on the Lord’s honours board. This will be an opportunity for me to score a century there. However, I am not taking this task as an added pressure. My main task would be to lead the batting and score runs so that my team has an advantage.”

    On Yasir Shah’s absence

    Pakistan’s one of the most potent bowling weapons in Tests, leg-spinner Yasir Shah, will not be a part of the squad travelling to England and Azhar believes replacing him would be a tough task.
    “Yasir’s absence is a big loss,” said Azhar. “He has been performing for us for the past three-four years. He played a key role in our victories when we visited England last time around. Captain and coach would be looking to replace Yasir with someone new, but we don’t have anyone right now who has been playing regularly in Tests for Pakistan.”

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1683104...ouble-england/

  3. #3
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    He is right. We don't play enough test cricket. A 7 month gap is a joke.

  4. #4
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    I have mentioned it many times , PCB need to make sure Pakistan play 10 - 12 Test matches every year. That is why Pakistan not having more 300 plus Test wickets bowlers.

  5. #5
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    Rahat Ali will be back

  6. #6
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    Azhar Ali is already 33 years old ? Geez, our batting is going to look very weak in the next few years unless we find quality replacements.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Azhar Ali is already 33 years old ? Geez, our batting is going to look very weak in the next few years unless we find quality replacements.
    Don’t worry.

    Haris Sohail, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Usman Salahuddin, Saad Ali, Saud Shakeel, Hussain Talat, Imam ul-Haq.

    It’s gonna be ok.

  8. #8
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    It's not our bowling I'm worried about. We have a good bowling line up, England's batting line up isn't that good at this moment in time, Cook looks shaky these days, the likes of Vince and Stoneman are hit or miss, if we can get Root out cheaply as well our bowling attack is capable of restricting England to low scores but it's our batting I'm worried about.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Azhar Ali is already 33 years old ? Geez, our batting is going to look very weak in the next few years unless we find quality replacements.
    the guy is pretty fit and doesn't rely on raw ability

    I reckon he has another 5 years at least


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadi123 View Post
    It's not our bowling I'm worried about. We have a good bowling line up, England's batting line up isn't that good at this moment in time, Cook looks shaky these days, the likes of Vince and Stoneman are hit or miss, if we can get Root out cheaply as well our bowling attack is capable of restricting England to low scores but it's our batting I'm worried about.
    I wouldn't worry about Root either. Once he gets his complementary fifty, he will be walking back to the pavilion. The issue is like you said, our batting. If they can put up 300s consistently, I think we will win the series.


    “I've never lost a game I just ran out of time.” Micheal Jordan

  11. #11
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    Open the batting and dont budge for the call to take no.3.

    Haris Sohail should be promoted to no.3 with Shafiq at 4 for experience and babar at 5 and Usman or Fawad alam at 6.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    the guy is pretty fit and doesn't rely on raw ability

    I reckon he has another 5 years at least
    Misbah is his idol so i think atleast 10 more years


    Love for all hatred for none.


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