Azhar Ali, the Pakistan skipper has lashed out at critics. He maintained that captains cannot be blamed every time. He was frustrated as Pakistan despite having the upper hand lost the first test against England by three wickets in Manchester. They were on course for some win but faltered in the final session of the first Test as Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes scored 75 and 84 not out — to steer England to victory.
Pakistan’s centurion of the first innings Shan Masood, who scored 156 but failed to score in the second essay. He will look to continue his form in the last two Tests along with Pakistan’s batting mainstay Babar Azam, who scored 69 and five in the two innings.
Azhar Ali Admits Failure As Team
Azhar Ali admitted that they failed as a team but told that captains should not be held responsible every time. He also applauded and appreciated the England team for their way of playing.
“It is easy to criticise a captain with hindsight but we also need to appreciate the way our opponents played. You can’t blame the captain every time but I will admit that we could not defend a total, as a team, which we should have,” Azhar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes were lavishly praised as their partnership took the game away from Pakistan who despite having a first-innings lead of 107 runs faltered at the last hurdle.
“They changed the momentum of the game and unfortunately we couldn’t reply to whatever they threw at us,” the 35-year-old conceded.
The second test will begin on Thursday 13th of September at Southampton and Pakistan must address concerns to defeat the hosts this time around.
England To Miss Ben Stokes While Pakistan May Tinker With Lineup
England will be without all-rounder Ben Stokes who will miss the last two Tests due to personal reasons which will be a huge relief for Pakistan but still, England have a formidable batting and bowling lineups bolstered by the presence of Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Also, Pakistan have a strong bowling line up of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan apart from batting counterparts like captain Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Abid Ali and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan all of whom played the first test.
England will look to include all-rounder Sam Curran while Pakistan may tinker with bowling or batting combinations after suffering a defeat in Manchester.