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Babar hopeful of bringing Test cricket respite to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

04 Jul, 2022
<p>Pakistan cricket team’s all format captain Babar Azam’s addresses a pre-departure press conference in Lahore. Photo via Twitter/<a rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" class="link--external" href="https://twitter.com/TheRealPCB">@TheRealPCB</a></p>

Pakistan cricket team’s all format captain Babar Azam’s addresses a pre-departure press conference in Lahore. Photo via Twitter/@TheRealPCB

Pakistan cricket team all-format skipper Babar Azam wants to play good cricket in front of the Sri Lankan crowd, who are dealing with a financial crisis.

“Fans get happy when you play good cricket,” he said while addressing a press conference in Lahore ahead of the Sri Lanka tour. “The result is not in our hands, however, the effort is and we will do that.”

Pakistan will play two Test matches in Sri Lanka, with the first contest starting on July 16 at Galle. The second match will be take place in Colombo from July 24. The green shirts are visiting the country after 2015.

‘Patience’

To a query, Azam said that team combination was important for him to win the game and they play according to the demand of the situation.

“Test cricket’s beauty is patience, which is very important,” he said, adding that improvement in the longest format of the game takes more time than in the shortest format.

“It’s not easy to play at a time when the opponent team is dominating and you try to win,” Azam said, “In any situation, we call for playing with a positive mindset.”

Azam, who is the top-ranked batter in ODI and T20, was of the view that the team was performing well in red-ball cricket. He admitted that there were some mistakes from which they have to learn

“It will be beneficial for us if we learn from our mistakes as early as we can.”

Winning matches

Azam’s target is to lead his team to victory while making his performances count for the team.

Elaborating on the team’s plan, he said they would also try to go with three spinners as Australia did in the first Test. “But the final selection would be made on the match day.

“We are training according to the condition,” he said. “We know spinners are going to dominate. But, I also rely on my fast bowlers.”

Azam said: “As a team, our motive is how to face tough conditions and we are trying our best.”

Explaining his strategy, the captain said that bowlers would try to get early wickets to put pressure. “Bowling dot balls is crucial.”

The team has decided to rest leg spinner Sajid Khan who has been replaced by Yasir Shah. Azam described it as a “harsh decision”. Efforts are afoot to improve the game, he added.

The skipper was happy to see Yasir Shah getting back into the team.

“Yasir Shah has fitness issues but he has improved it. As a bowler you need confidence and it takes time for a leg spinner. His confidence is better for us and I am hopeful for him.”