Fawad Alam | Sportzwiki

Fawad Alam

Shaheen Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket (L) and Fawad Alam acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century. Photo: AFP
Shaheen Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket (L) and Fawad Alam acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century. Photo: AFP
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Fawad Alam And Shaheen Shah Afridi Achieved Career-Best Positions In ICC Test Player Rankings

Fawad Alam, a left-handed batsman and left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi have achieved career-best positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after helping Pakistan win the second Test against the West Indies in Kingston to draw their two-match ICC World Test Championship series 1-1.

Fawad Alam’s unbeaten 124 in the first innings has helped him shoot up 34 places to 21st position. Shaheen Shah Afridi has gained 10 slots to reach the eighth position after a 10-wicket match haul that helped seal a 109-run victory and won him the Player of the Match award.

Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)
Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)

Fawad Alam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan Gain Positions In ICC Test Ratings

Fawad Alam, who has struck four centuries since his return to Test cricket in August last year, had a previous best of 47th position attained in May this year while Shaheen Shah Afridi’s 18th position before this Test was his highest.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, who also finished as the Player of the Series with 18 wickets, had started the series in 22nd position. Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed 4-43 to add to his career-best figures of 6-51 in the first innings as West Indies were dismissed for 219 on the last day to give Pakistan victory by 109 runs.

Shaheen Shah Afridi returned 6 for 51 in 1st innings to help bowl West Indies for 150.© AFP
Shaheen Shah Afridi returned 6 for 51 in 1st innings to help bowl West Indies for 150.© AFP

Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the two Pakistan players ahead of Fawad Alam in the batters’ list, have also gained.  Babar Azam’s scores of 75 and 33 have helped him advance one slot to the seventh position, two below his career-best fifth position in August last year, while Mohammad Rizwan is back in the top 20 with scores of 31 and 10 not out.

Jason Holder Advanced 6 Places

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali is another one to gain in the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings that is carried out across formats on Wednesdays. His three-wicket haul in the second innings has helped him progress from 48th to 44thposition.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder
West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder (Photo | AP)

For the West Indies, all-rounder Jason Holder has advanced six places to 37th among batters with scores of 26 and 47. Fast bowler Jayden Seales, the most successful after Shaheen Shah Afridi with 11 wickets in the series, has moved up four slots to 54th after his three first-innings wickets.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, the Pakistan pacer was the hero, finishing with a match haul of 10 wickets as West Indies folded against a well-rounded attack. It meant they will have to wait a few more years to record a first Test series win over Pakistan since 2001.

Pakistan 302 for 9 dec (Alam 124, Azam 75, Roach 3-68) and 176 for 6 dec (Butt 37, Azam 33) beat West Indies 150 (Bonner 37, Afridi 6-51) and 219 (Holder 47, Afridi 4-43, Nauman 3-52) by 109 runs

Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)
Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)
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Fawad Alam Becomes The Fastest Pakistan Batsman To Register 5 Test Tons

Fawad Alam has become the fastest Pakistan batsman to register five Test hundreds. Fawad Alam achieved the feat in the ongoing second Test against West Indies on Sunday.

The left-handed batsman scored his fifth Test ton only in his 22nd innings. Former Pakistan skipper Younis Khan was the fastest from the country before Fawad Alam broke his record.

Fawad Alam Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Fawad Alam Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Fawad Alam Breaks Younis Khan’s Record Of Scoring Quickest First Five Test Tons

Younis Khan had scored his first five-Test tons in 28 innings while Saleem Malik achieved a similar feat in 29 innings. Fawad Alam also became the sixth Pakistan batsman to score a century at Sabina Park, joining Imtiaz Ahmed (122 in 1958), Wazir Mohammad (106 in 1958), Asif Iqbal (135 in 1977), Younis Khan (106 in 2005), and Inzamam-ul-Haq (117 not out in 2005).

Younis Khan. Pic/AP, PTI
Younis Khan. Pic/AP, PTI

In reaching his century, the 35-year-old left-hander also became the quickest Asian batsman to reach five Test centuries in 22 innings, eclipsing Cheteshwar Pujara (24 innings) and Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar (both achieved the feat in 25 innings).

Fawad Alam Scores Unbeaten 124 In Pakistan’s 302/9 Declared

On day three of the second Test, Fawad Alam defied West Indies bowlers to record his fifth Test hundred before left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi snatched a brace of wickets to rock the hosts’ top order. Pakistan converted their overnight 212-4 into 302-9, before declaring 35 minutes after tea on Sunday.

The left-handed Fawad Alam struck an unbeaten 124, resuming his innings on 76 after retiring from heat exhaustion, 20 minutes after tea on Friday’s opening day. Babar Azam had scored 75 while the likes of Abid Ali(1), Imran Butt(1) ad Azhar Ali(0) fell cheaply.

Mohammad Rizwan made 31 and Faheem Ashraf got 26, with fast bowlers Jayden Seales (3-31) and Kemar Roach (3-68) finishing with three scalps apiece, and Jason Holder supporting with 2-46. Faced with 27 overs at the back end of the final session, West Indies closed at 39-3 for at the close – 263 runs adrift in the first innings with two days left in the match as Day 2 was washed out.

Pakistani batsman Fawad Alam celebrates after scoring a century against New Zealand. Photo: Twitter
Pakistani batsman Fawad Alam celebrates after scoring a century against New Zealand. Photo: Twitter

Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam returned to Pakistan’s Test playing XI after missing 88 matches in the span of 10 years and 8 months. Fawad Alam was picked in the playing XI of the second Test match against England in Southampton in the place of Shadab Khan.

He last played for Pakistan in a Test in November 2009 against New Zealand. The 88 Tests gap is the 7th longest between two matches in red-ball cricket. While it is the second-longest gap for a Pakistan cricketer as Younis Ahmed tops the list with 104 Tests gap between 1969-1987.

The 35-year-old left-hander smashed a debut hundred in Sri Lanka in 2009 but was discarded after only two more Tests and then had to wait for 10 years and 259 days for his next Test, in England last year.

In 13 Tests, he has amassed 895 runs averaging 47.11 with 5 tons and a solitary fifty.

Azhar Ali AFP
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Azhar Ali Expressed His Desire To See Pakistan Win 2nd WTC Title During His Career

Azhar Ali, a former Pakistan Test skipper expressed his desire to see his country win the World Test Championship during his career. Pakistan had a torrid time in the inaugural WTC as they finished fifth in the table with four wins, five losses, and three draws from 12 matches. Pakistan will start their 2021-23 WTC cycle with their two-match Test series against the West Indies.

Azhar Ali has been a prolific run-scorer for the nation in the purest format, having notched 6579 runs at an average of 43.28 with 18 tons and 33 fifties. Even as he hasn’t played T20 cricket for the Men in Green, his last ODI for Pakistan came way back in January 2018 against New Zealand.

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Azhar Ali Admits The WTC Is A Valuable Addition And He Wants To See Pakistan Win WTC During His Career

Azhar Ali put forth his wishes prior to Pakistan’s upcoming Test series against the West Indies that starts on Thursday, August 12. Both matches of the red-ball series will take place at Sabina Park, Kingston in Jamaica.

“The ICC World Test Championship is a valuable addition and has helped make this format more competitive. I want to see Pakistan win the Test championship in my career. Test cricket is the pinnacle format and this format is still entertaining fans around the globe. Fans in Australia, England, and New Zealand still wait for a Test match,” Azhar was quoted as saying in a press conference.

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team (Credit: Getty Images)

After a poor outing in the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship, Pakistan Cricket Team will be desperate to bounce back in the second cycle of the Test supremacy. The Men in Green failed to secure a place in the top 5 and recorded only four wins in 12 matches. Pakistan ended the competition in sixth place with 43.3% points.

The first West Indies-Pakistan Test will be played at the Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica from August 12. The 2nd Test will be at the same venue and will get underway from August 20.

Azhar Ali Admits A Caribbean Tour Isn’t An Easy One

Prior to the series, Azhar Ali felt the upcoming games will pose their fair share of challenges to the visiting team. Pakistan has won seven out of 26 Tests in the West Indies while losing 12 and drawing seven games. Azhar Ali also said that with the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali, and Fawad Alam in their ranks, Pakistan has a power-packed batting lineup.

“A Caribbean tour is never an easy one and we are preparing for the challenges ahead here in Guyana. The West Indies have a good bowling line-up but our batters are in a good shape,” he stated.

Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP
Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP

“Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are in good knick and they have shown their pedigree in the white-ball matches leading up to the Tests. Among the Test batters, Abid Ali and Fawad Alam are also performing consistently from the last couple of series,” Azhar added.

The visitors will play against West Indies in a two-match Test series that gets underway from August 12. The 11 players who left for Barbados on July 26th were Abid Ali, Ali, Fawad Alam, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah, and Zahid Mahmood.

Azhar Ali has amassed 6579 runs from 87 Tests averaging 43.28 with 18 tons with a highest of unbeaten 302. Fawad Alam played 3 Tests in 2009 before being recalled in 2020 to play against England. He has scored 3 tons in each of the last three series against New Zealand, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Pakistan will open its World Test Championship campaign in August 2021 against the West Indies cricket team. Initially, the series was supposed to have three Tests, but both boards agreed to have only a two-Test series. After the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Pakistan will visit Bangladesh to play a two-Test series against the home team. The series is likely to take place in November 2021.

The Australian cricket team will play an away Test series against Pakistan in the first quarter of 2022. The series will comprise three Tests, with either Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates playing host to the fixtures. Babar Azam’s men will play their final away series under the new WTC cycle against Sri Lanka in July and August 2022.

Like the series against Bangladesh and West Indies, the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Test series will also consist of two matches. World Test Champions New Zealand will play two Tests against Pakistan in November 2022.  The England cricket team led by Joe Root will travel to Asia to compete in a three-Test series against Pakistan.

Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP
Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP
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Azhar Ali Among 11 Cricketers Who Will Leave For Barbados On July 26

Azhar Ali, Abid Ali, Naseem Shah, and Fawad Alam are among 11 Pakistan Test players to leave for Barbados on July 26. Pakistan national team’s Test specialist players will depart for Barbados for a two-match series on July 26.

Pakistan is currently locking horns with England in a three-match T20I series and will next face West Indies in five T20Is from July 27.

The visitors will then lock horns with West Indies in a two-match Test series which gets underway from August 12. The 11 players are Abid Ali, Ali, Fawad Alam, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah, and Zahid Mahmood.

Pakistan's Naseem Shah (Photo by DAN MULLAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Pakistan’s Naseem Shah (Photo by DAN MULLAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Azhar Ali Among 11 Cricketers Who Will Enter A Bio-Secure Bubble In A Lahore Hotel Before Departing For Barbados

The 11 cricketers including former Pakistan skipper Ali will join the remaining Test players in the West Indies after finishing their 10-day training and conditioning camp at the National Stadium Karachi on Saturday. The players will now enter a bio-secure bubble in a Lahore hotel on July 22 before departing for Barbados.

“Before entering the bio-secure bubble, the players will undergo COVID-19 tests at their respective home towns on Monday, 19 July,” The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

Azhar Ali AFP
Azhar Ali AFP

The players will have another round of Covid-19 testing on their arrival in the team hotel in Lahore on Thursday. The final round of testing will be conducted on July 24 before the player’s departure in the wee hours of July 26 to Barbados en-route London. The first West Indies-Pakistan Test will be played at the Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica from August 12. The 2nd Test will be at the same venue and will get underway from August 20.

Azhar Ali has amassed 6579 runs from 87 Tests averaging 43.28 with 18 tons with a highest of unbeaten 302. Fawad Alam played 3 Tests in 2009 before being recalled in 2020 to play against England. He has scored 3 tons in each of the last three series against New Zealand, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Liam Livingstone’s Fastest T20I Ton By An England Player Goes In Vain

Meanwhile, in the first T20I, Liam Livingstone scored the fastest T20I century by an England player but failed to take the hosts over the line as Pakistan recorded a 31-run win on Friday. With this win, Pakistan has taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Liam Livingstone smashed nine sixes and six fours in a scintillating 103 off 43 balls but Pakistan bowlers held their nerve to eke out a hard-fought win.

In the 1st T20I, Pakistan scored a monumental 232 largely due to openers Babar Azam’s 85 and Mohammad Rizwan’s 63 and then bowled out opponents England for 201.

Liam Livingstone made a 42-ball century, the fastest in England's T20I history Getty Images
Liam Livingstone made a 42-ball century, the fastest in England’s T20I history Getty Images

Liam Livingstone smashed nine sixes and six fours in a scintillating 103 off 43 balls but Pakistan bowlers held their nerve to eke out a hard-fought win. Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan picked 3 scalps apiece.

Centurion Fawad Alam Don't Want To Blame Selectors For Not Playing International Cricket For 10 Years
Image Credit: Twitter.
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Centurion Fawad Alam Don’t Want To Blame Selectors For Not Playing International Cricket For 10 Years

Pakistan Test cricketer Fawad Alam, who scored a gritty century against South Africa during the first innings of the first Test at Karachi, is thankful for playing for Pakistan at the home ground. Although fans and experts are questioning selectors for delaying his return to the Pakistan team, Alam wants to remain optimistic. He doesn’t want to blame anyone for not playing international cricket for 10 years rather wants to focus on the coming opportunities.

Fawad Alam made the debut for Pakistan in Test cricket in 2009 but after playing only two-Test series, he was dropped. After the gap of ten years in 2020, he returned to the Test side and played the first Test series against England. That tour was not a remarkable one for him.

However, the Pakistan team backed him and he travelled to New Zealand, the last tour of Pakistan. He scored an amazing hundred when all the players struggled to face Kiwi pacers.

Fawad Alam continued his exploits in the home ground, Karachi. After the early fall of Babar Azam and top-orders, he rescued Pakistan and made amends. He stitched a 94 runs partnership and scored his fourth Test century.

I am focussed on what my destiny has in store for me: Fawad Alam

Centurion Fawad Alam Don't Want To Blame Selectors For Not Playing International Cricket For 10 Years 1
Fawad Alam. Image Credit: Twitter.

Speaking at the end of Day two of the first Test, Fawad stated that he doesn’t want to blame anyone for missing 10 years in Test cricket. However, he has accepted that it was his destiny.

“Whenever I spoke to the media, I have never blamed anyone for not playing international cricket for 10 years. If it was in my destiny, then nobody could have taken it away from me. I am not thinking about the 10 years that have gone by, I am focussed on what my destiny has in store for me,” Fawad Alam said.

Centurion Fawad Alam Don't Want To Blame Selectors For Not Playing International Cricket For 10 Years 2
Image Credit: Twitter.

Fawad Alam opined that he wanted to capitalise on every opportunity given to him even in domestic cricket. He doesn’t think that the last 10 years were a waste for him as he worked hard on domestic cricket.

“I am looking to perform in whatever chances I get, even in domestic cricket as it’s my bread and butter. I am not thinking on the lines that I have lost 10 years. I don’t think about the 10 years going to waste. How can I say all the runs and records made in domestic cricket went in vain? I thank the almighty for whatever I have achieved and the respect that I have earned.”

“I had my heart set on playing a Test match at my home ground in Karachi. This was also my Test debut in Pakistan and I had asked the Almighty to give me respect at my home venue and he did that,” Fawad Alam added.

After his century, Pakistan propelled to 378 runs with the support of Azhar Ali and Faheem Ashraf half-centuries in the first innings.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Shoaib Akhtar Rubs Salt On Wounds Of Indian Fans After India Registers Lowest Test Total
Shoaib Akhtar. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Shoaib Akhtar Takes Dig At Pakistani Selectors As Fawad Alam Scores Match-Saving Hundred Against South Africa

After Fawad Alam scored a match-saving hundred against South Africa in the first Test match, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has raised fingers on why selectors made delay in handing him in the Test cap.

Shoaib Akhtar doesn’t leave any opportunity to take on Pakistan national selector and team management. He openly keeps his view irrespective of it might backfire him.

Alam, who made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at the Sara Oval in 2009, has only played seven red-ball international games for the Asian giants. The Pakistani southpaw made a sensational return to the national side during New Zealand and followed in the South Africa Test series.

Shoaib Akhtar Takes Dig At Pakistani Selectors As Fawad Alam Scores Match-Saving Hundred Against South Africa 3
Image Credit: Twitter.

Shoaib Akhtar Lauds Fawad Ahmed

Shoaib Akhtar not only praised the veteran batsman but the Rawalpindi Express lashed out at the Pakistani national selectors for not keeping the 35-year-old in the fray. “Another 100 by @iamfawadalam25. So I’d like to know who will be answerable for not selecting him all these years? Great determination!” Akhtar said in his tweet.

“Another 100 by @iamfawadalam25. So I’d like to know who will be answerable for not selecting him all these years? Great determination!,” Akhtar said in his tweet. 

 

Shoaib Akhtar Takes Dig At Pakistani Selectors As Fawad Alam Scores Match-Saving Hundred Against South Africa 4
Fawad Alam. Image Credit: Twitter.

After the early fall of top-order in the first innings of Pakistan, Fawad Alam punished the potent bowling attack of the Proteas with a gritty century. He rescued the side to score 109 and also joined forces with Azhar Ali for a crucial 94-run stand on Day 2 at Karachi. Besides Alam, star batsman Ali (51) and Faheem Ashraf (64) played crucial cameos to help Pakistan bounce back on Day 2 of the Karachi Test. In first innings, Pakistan were bundled out for 378 runs.

Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar is a constant critic of Pakistan. Earlier, when Mohammed Amir announced his retirement, he blamed the team management for wasting talents.

Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, New Zealand vs India 2020, India
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Not At All Surprised To See The Consistency Of Kane Williamson: VVS Laxman

Kane Williamson, New Zealand skipper has now scored a hundred in every Test he has played this summer, and former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman is not at all surprised to see the consistency of the world number one batsman.

Kane Williamson hit an unbeaten 112 on day two of the second Test against Pakistan to put the Kiwis on top here at the Hagley Oval on Monday. This is his third consecutive ton after his 129 in the first Test and career-best 251 against West Indies in December 2020.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Kane Williamson’s Consistency Doesn’t Surprise VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman explained the reason behind his phenomenal success and said that the Kiwi skipper is the true role model for any youngster who is trying to make a name by playing cricket.

The former Indian batsman, who was famous for his wrist work stroke play in his playing days, said Kane Williamson’s unbelievable work ethics and attention to detail while preparing for any game are the prime reasons behind his success.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman (Photo: IANS)

“Not at all surprised to see the consistency of Kane Williamson. Unbelievable work ethics and attention to detail while preparing for any match are the reasons behind his success. A true role model for any youngster to emulate,” Laxman tweeted.

Kane Williamson scored above 6500 runs in over 80 Tests averaging in the 50s and notched ahead of Steve Smith and Virat Kohli to become No. 1 batsman.

New Zealand Trails Pakistan By 11 Runs Ending 2nd Day At 286/3

The Kiwis concluded day two of the ongoing Test at 286/3, trailing Pakistan by 11 runs. Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls are currently unbeaten on 112 and 89 respectively. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, and Faheem Ashraf scalped one wicket each.

Starting their innings on the second day, New Zealand openers provided a steady start to the side as Tom Latham and Tom Blundell put on 52 runs for the first wicket, but Pakistan came back strongly as the visitors dismissed both the openers in a span of six balls.

Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls. Image Credit: Getty Images

Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls though went past their half-century mark after arriving at the crease with the score at 71/3 following Ross Taylor’s wicket. In the end, the duo saw out the final session of play and the Kiwis ended day two with seven more wickets remaining in the bag. New Zealand had bundled out Pakistan for 297 in the first innings as Kyle Jamieson scalped five wickets.

New Zealand had won 1st Test with Kane Williamson scoring a ton but the match was well poised as Pakistan fought till the very end but lost despite Fawad Alam scoring 102 and stand-in skipper Mohammed Rizwan’s valuable contributions in both innings.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam Image Credits: Twitter
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Babar Azam Ruled Out Of Christchurch Test After Feeling Pain In His Thumb

Babar Azam was sorely missed by Pakistan in the first Test against hosts New Zealand in Mount Maunganui as the classy right-handed batsman could not play the Test after sustaining a finger injury.

Babar Azam also missed the T20I series which was lost by Pakistan by 2-1. And the 25-year old skipper has now been ruled out of the second Test too since there was a slight pain in his thumb despite a full-fledged training session.

Babar Azam.
Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Babar Azam Is Cleared But Wants To Take Some More Time: Mohammad Rizwan Before Babar Azam Ruled Out

Keeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was given the captaincy role in the first Test, but Pakistan’s valiant fight in 2nd innings was not enough to avoid a huge defeat. Fawad Alam’s fighting hundred- his 2nd after being recalled after 10 years in the second innings, Faheem Ashraf’s counterattacking knock of 91 in the first innings and skipper Mohammad Rizwan’s mature knocks in both the innings were some of the bright spots for the tourists.

Babar Azam’s return could have meant that Pakistan sidelined Haris Sohail, who had scores of 3 and 9 in Mount Manganui in 1st Test. The openers too disappointed as both of them failed to score in 2nd innings.

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Rizwan earlier mentioned that Babar Azam has received clearance but wants to take more time. The 28-year old acknowledged that Kane Williamson batted very well in the first Test and Babar Azam was in the same bracket as he had the same role in Pakistan’s team. He believes that the result could have turned out to be different if the 25-year old had been part of XI.

“He’s cleared but he wants to take some more time. If he plays he has a great impact on our team. Williamson batted very solid … Babar Azam has the same role in our team. The result may have been different if Babar was playing,” Rizwan said as quoted by CricketPakistan.pk.

Pakistan lost by 101 runs in 1st Test but chasing 373 runs odd target, they put up a fighting display with Fawad Alam scoring a ton and Mohammad Rizwan scoring 60 in 2nd innings. Mohammad Rizwan scored 71 in the first innings as well alongside Faheem Ashraf who scored 91 in 1st essay.

Babar Azam Is One Of The Best Players In World And Adds A Lot To Pakistan’s Strength: Kane Williamson

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted that Babar Azam brings a lot to the team, witnessing how challenging it was to beat Pakistan in 1st Test and their skipper’s addition in 2nd Test should have bolstered their strengths further.

“He’s one of the best players in the world. He obviously adds a lot. We saw how challenging it is against this Pakistan side. You add Babar to that and it strengthens it,” he added.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Babar Azam’s absence means he will miss the whole tour of New Zealand despite being in the team for both three T20Is and 2 Tests. Kane Williamson scored 129 in New Zealand’s first innings as they scored 431. The team declared at 180/5 in 2nd essay and dismissed Pakistan for 239 and 271 to win 1st Test.

Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Gary Stead Confirms Pacer Neil Wagner Will Miss 2nd Test Due To Broken Toes

Gary Stead, New Zealand coach confirmed that star pacer Neil Wagner will miss the second Test against Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch starting on Sunday due to broken toes.

Neil Wagner braved two broken toes and inspired his team to a memorable victory that would take Kane Williamson’s side to the top of the ICC Test rankings. A Shaheen Afridi yorker hit Neil Wagner on Sunday, but he overcame the injury to bowl in both the innings for New Zealand.

Gary Stead
Gary Stead (Credits: Twitter)

Gary Stead: Neil Wagner Was Amazing As He Braved Injury Concerns

In the 1st Test, New Zealand scored 431 in 1st and 180/5 declared in 2nd innings and dismissed Pakistan for 239 and 271 to win the match by 101 runs. Kane Williamson scored 129 in New Zealand’s 1st innings and was well complemented by Ross Taylor (70), Henry Nicholls (56) and BJ Watling(73).

Pakistan faltered in 1st innings as apart from Mohammed Rizwan (71) and Faheem Ashraf (91) the others didn’t manage double-digit figures. After New Zealand declared at 180/5, Pakistan’s Fawad Alam scored 102 but couldn’t win the match for Pakistan.

“Neil was absolutely outstanding,” Gary Stead told reporters at Christchurch airport on Thursday. “I don’t think there are too many individuals who could do what he did in that test match.”

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Neil hasn’t traveled with us. The injections he was getting (to lessen the pain) were wearing off (quickly) and we can’t let him go through that again.”

Pacer Neil Wagner would be out of action for up to six weeks. Gary Stead said that the Kiwis would likely name his replacement on Friday, adding that they would go “like for like” replacement.

Gary Stead: Fawad Alam And Mohammad Rizwan Neatly Took Match Away From New Zealand’s Grasp

Gary Stead was pleased with New Zealand’s first Test’s performance in both batting and bowling against a tough resilient Pakistan side, who were behind in most sessions for much of the match but were still in with a chance of snatching victory from jaws of defeat in the final session. Fawad Alam and Mohammed Rizwan put up a 165 run 5th wicket partnership after Pakistan were reduced to 75/4.

“That was tough, really hard test cricket and it was good to come out on the right side of it against a tough Pakistan team,” he said.

Fawad Alam
Fawad Alam (Image Credit: Google)

“I thought Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam’s partnership was outstanding … and they nearly took the game away from us. That’s what makes Test cricket what it is,” Gary Stead stated.

Neil Wagner picked four wickets bowling 49 overs averaging 26.25 while Kyle Jamieson picked five wickets averaging 14.

Fawad Alam came back into Pakistan’s test team after a gap of 88 tests and more than 10 years. In the first Test against Kiwis, he scored his first Test hundred after more than 11 years. There was a gap of 4218 days between the two centuries he has scored in his Test career. In July 2009, he became the first Pakistani cricketer to score a Test century on debut away from home.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan. Image Credit: Twitter.

England vs Pakistan: I Don’t Think This Was The Time To Play Fawad Alam – Michael Vaughan

Fawad Alam was included in Pakistan’s Test Playing XI after over a decade. It has to be his luckiest day but life is cruel. After the long wait of 10 years and 259 days, the batsman got out for a duck after facing four balls against England in the first innings of the second Test match.

He was heavily criticized after failing to capitalize on the golden opportunity. Former England captain Michael Vaughan also doesn’t think it was the right time to bring back Fawad Alam into action. 

Fawad Alam
Fawad Alam. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan was at 117/4 when Fawad Alam entered the crease. From fans to his teammates, he himself would have high hopes to get the team to a respectable total. But Chris Woakes‘ swing bowling send Alam back to the hut before he could even score one run. The southpaw also returned to pavilion with his heads down disappointed on his dismissal. 

I don’t understand why they included Fawad Alam: Michael Vaughan

Fawad Alam
Fawad Alam. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan’s team strategy is being questioned on Fawad’s inclusion. Vaughan also felt bringing back Fawad at such a crucial stage is ‘very typical of what Pakistan does.

He couldn’t understand why the inexperienced player was included in the XI at such a crucial stage. He believes Fawad was not prepared for the series. 

“I don’t understand why they have made that decision to bring in a guy, who has not played for 11 years and is 34 years of age, It’s very typical of what Pakistan do. With that technique, he [Fawad] is basically facing the wrong way when the ball is being delivered. If the ball is moving an inch, he is going to get out. I don’t think this was the time to play Fawad Alam.”

Before playing in this Test, the 34-year-old Fawad Alam last played for the Pakistan Test team against New Zealand in 2009. Since then, he was out of the team and nearly after Team played 88 Test matches, the left-hander was included in the Test team. However, he has been regular in domestic cricket.