Pakistan captain Babar Azam has said that his team is not scared of Test heavy weight Australia in the ongoing series at their home soil.
It also comes a day after the pitch for the drawn first Test at Rawalpindi was rated as ‘below average’ by ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle apart from being given one demerit point.
“We’re not frightened of Australia. The conditions are the same for both teams, and the World Test Championship points are very crucial. As a captain, I wanted us to win. The way our side dominated, we had batters score 150-plus and (bowlers) get wickets. So, there’s nothing to panic about. We dominated. We didn’t get a result, unfortunately, but that’s not in our hands. If all the overs that were lost due to rain were played, maybe we’d have a different result,” Azam was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Just like how opener Imam-ul-Haq defended the nature of Rawalpindi pitch, Azam too spoke in the same vein. Only 14 wickets fell across all five days of the Rawalpindi Test, ten of which were picked by Pakistan in Australia’s first innings while the visitors’ took only four wickets of the hosts’.
Azam admitted that facing debutant leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson will be walking into the unknown for Pakistan. “I haven’t seen much of him. We’ll watch videos of him and plan accordingly. We’ve started practice here; it’s quite hot and the conditions are different.”
“We have momentum with us; we dominated the first Test and had great individual and team performances. The batters batted well, the bowlers took ten wickets, and Nauman six. The overall team performance was good and we’re trying to take that momentum into this game.”