Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has reacted after his successor Azhar Ali failed to guide Pakistan to a win from a strong position in the first Test against England. Pakistan were in the driver’s seat in most parts of the game but failed to capitalise on their strong position as they eventually succumbed to a three-wicket loss.
Chasing 277, England were looking all but defeated after collapsing to 117-5 on the fourth day. However, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler turned the tide with a stand of 139. The partnership ended when England were only 21 runs shy of the target with Yasir Shah dismissing Buttler for 75. England lost one more wicket but Woakes remained till the end, scoring an unbeaten 84.
Sarfaraz Ahmed backs Azhar Ali:
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has been facing criticism for failing to guide the team ton win in the series-opener. Recently, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram also slammed Azhar, saying that he ‘missed a trick’ several times in the game. And at a time when Azhar is facing the heat, Sarfaraz Ahmed has thrown his support behind his successor.
Sarfaraz Ahmed took to Twitter to back Azhar and said that Pakistan will bounce back, writing: “Bhayya stay strong, InshaAllah, we will bounce back Pakistan zindabad.”
— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) August 10, 2020
Earlier, Azhar had hit back at his critics. The Pakistan star, who is facing criticism not only for his captaincy but also his batting, said that every time the captain cannot be blamed and credit must be given to England.
“It is easy to criticize with hindsight but we also need to acknowledge if someone posts a partnership like that. Every time you can’t blame the captaincy but I am here to take responsibility that we could not defend a total, as a team, which we should have,” Azhar said while talking to reporters during virtual press-conference.
“When I bat, I am not thinking about the captaincy, whether or not I am out of form, and when I am captain, I do not think about my batting at all,” he added.