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Babar Azam: We did not get the pitch that we wanted

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Cricket News: Babar Azam: We did not get the pitch that we wanted | Babar Azam on Rawalpindi Pitch

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has revealed that the team did not get the pitch that they asked for in the aftermath of their 74-run loss against England in the opening Test of the series in Rawalpindi on Monday. Azam revealed that they wanted a turning track but also conceded that such a pitch could not be prepared probably because of the prevalent weather.

“We have a lot of input in the pitch, but we didn’t get the pitch we wanted. We couldn’t execute our plans. We wanted a turning pitch, but perhaps because of the weather and preparation, that sort of wicket couldn’t be created,” the 28-year-old said, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

The Test was laden with some bold calls taken by the English team management coupled with Pakistan tumbling and fumbling after getting themselves in a comfortable position in the fourth innings chase. Chasing 343, they were standing at 176/3 at one stage before losing their last seven wickets for just 92 runs.

Saud Shakeel’s knock of 76 runs were ably supported by the likes of Imam-ul-Haq (46), Mohammad Rizwan (46) and Azhar Ali (40), with all three of them playing handy parts each. However, none of the batsmen were able to stick around long enough as England managed to breach past their defence with four-wicket hauls each by Ollie Robinson and James Anderson.

Disappointed to lose game on that pitch – Babar Azam

England demonstrated terrific intent by batting at a run rate of 6.5 and 7.43 in the first and second innings’ respectively. That, in tandem with a tenacious bowling effort, ensured that they carved out an opportunity to emerge victorious in a Test that was played in an absolutely dead, flat batting track. Azam revealed that the team was dejected at the continuous fall of wickets that prevented them from getting a hold over the game despite building some robust partnerships throughout the course of the chase.

“We are feeling very disappointed as a team. We had an opportunity to win the match. We were in the match the way we started. The way the batters built partnerships after lunch, we were quite confident,” Azam revealed.

He added, “But then back-to-back wickets fell and when the new batters came in they struggled. That put pressure on us, but we need to give credit to England the way they fought and put in a real effort.”

Meanwhile, the captain refrained from regretting over any errors in the selection of the final playing XI. “You can’t change your style suddenly and start playing the way the other side is playing. You have to play according to the situation, when to attack and when to defend,” he quipped, further explaining that the game was there for the taking and not for a draw.

The second Test of this series will commence on 9th December at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jhahttps://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh
Tarkesh is a passionate cricket fan from India. He specialises in reporting on news from around the cricketing world as well as putting together opinion pieces. You can connect with Tarkesh on Twitter (X) at: https://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh

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