Pakistan eye strengthening position on ICC Test C’ship table

By: News Desk      Published: 09:26 PM, 6 Feb, 2020
Pakistan eye strengthening position on ICC Test C’ship table
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali and his Bangladesh counterpart Mominul Haque hold the Test series trophy. AFP

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali is aiming at strengthening Pakistan position on the ICC Test Championship table when Pakistan take on Bangladesh in first Test at Pindi Cricket Stadium Friday.

Azhar said Thursday ICC Test Championship’s ranking points have made every Test very important and they knew the significance of winning the Test. Pakistan are currently having 80 points in ICC Test Championship ranking points.

“The present series is a split series, but credit goes to both the PCB and the BCB for holding the series and we are fully focussed on first Test,” said Azhar.

Azhar, who is struggling with the bat since long, has accepted that as a player he didn’t perform well recently but good thing was that in the last Test he rediscovered the form, which will help him a great deal.

“After scoring a ton against Sri Lanka, I got a huge confidence boost. I also had scored runs in first class cricket and I will try to carry forward same form. Obviously, Test matches are played after long gaps and it is hard to continue to same momentum but I will try my level best not to let team and country down.”

He said last time match was highly disturbed due to rain but Pindi is usually a result-oriented venue.

“We will try to enter the first test with same Karachi Test combination. Our fast bowling attack is relatively inexperienced and fresh looking and they need time to settle down. I am sure this bowling attack will soon start to deliver for Pakistan team and will help us in winning loads of matches.”

He said it was very encouraging sign that international teams were coming to Pakistan.

“Pakistan Super League will be fully organised in Pakistan for the first time, which will give huge boost to the youngsters and local players, as they will learn a great deal playing and sharing dug out with the top international players.

Azhar, speaking very highly about Rawalpindi said there was different taste and adventure in playing in Pindi and the way massive crowds come and fill the venue is something amazing and hard to describe that feeling.

“The highly vocal and passionate crowd not only charges our batteries, but it also put new lease of life in all of us. It is not easy to win Test matches and we are definitely not taking Bangladesh as easy opponents. They have lot of highly skillful players and also have senior players services at their disposal as well. It is always very encouraging to see, Pakistani grounds are once again getting the taste of international cricket.”

He said Fawad Alam has forced his way in the national squad and he is more than capable of booking place in the playing XI and whoever gets chance to represent country, he must perform.

Bangladesh enjoying hospitality

Bangladesh team captain Mominul Haque said: “We are highly happy and grateful with the hospitality and arrangements made for us. We have nothing about security in mind and we are here to play positive cricket. We want to help Pakistan cricket in hard times as all know every point is highly crucial in ICC Test Championship and every match is very crucial. We will try to play good and attacking cricket.”

He said every player is important for the team and they had closely watched the pitch and we will decide before the toss, who will be part of the playing XI.

“It is very difficult to play without your key players, but on the other hand, it is a great opportunity for those players, who will get chance to represent country and showcase their talent. Pakistan team is good but we are by no means any lesser and we will give our best and not only try to win matches but also hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan. We know how much Pakistani supporters are passionate and how much they give respect to international teams as well, hopefully it will be a great match and people will witness the best cricket.”

The writer is a freelance journalist