Pakistan went on the defensive once I got out: Babar Azam

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has revealed that Pakistan would have gone with the mindset of chasing the mammoth target against Australia if they had not lost his wicket a post-tea.

Pakistan managed to draw the 2nd Test against Australia after surviving 171.4 overs — the most by a team to draw a five-day-Test as they scored 443-7 at the close of play chasing the target of 506.

Pakistan were earlier bowled out for 148 in the first innings and were 21 for 2 in the second innings but Babar Azam played a match-saving inning of 196 following his patient partnerships with Abdullah Shafiq and Mohammad Rizwan.

They needed 196 runs from 36 overs in the last session of play with six wickets in hands and, at that moment, there was a sight of intent before Babar lost his wicket, which was followed by wickets of Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan.

That moment panicked many — but Babar was unfazed.

“I didn’t panic despite our team losing back-to-back wickets because I was confident that the tail-enders are capable enough of saving this match,” Babar said after the historic draw in Karachi.

“We wanted to play normally till tea and then see the situation post-tea. I think if I had not lost my wicket, we would’ve opted for the mindset to chase the target,” he said.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam speaks to journalists after the second Pakistan-Australia Test match in Karachi, on March 16, 2022. — Photo by author
Pakistan captain Babar Azam speaks to journalists after the second Pakistan-Australia Test match in Karachi, on March 16, 2022. — Photo by author

Babar said that after a dismal show in the first innings, he tried to motivate his team and told them that what’s done is done and Pakistan can still save this match.

He said that he was focused on imparting a sense of self-belief among the players ahead of the second innings.

“Credit to Abdullah Shafiq for the way he played. He showed amazing patience and played a very important knock today which helped the team, and then towards the end, Muhammad Rizwan played a brilliant knock,” Babar said.

“I am happy to play the knock that I played, as this knock holds very value for me because the team needed it and it helped Pakistan save the Test match,” the Pakistani captain said.

He said that the pitch offered the same reverse and spin to both the bowlers, there was not much swing even in the first innings but Pakistan lost wickets to soft dismissals and by committing mistakes.

He said that team will try to learn from mistakes and will do even better in Lahore Test.

“We will try to convert our goods into our best and learn from the mistakes that we made in this match ahead of the Lahore Test,” the Pakistani captain said.

Replying to a question, Babar Azam said he hoped that the 3rd Test in Lahore would produce results.

“We will think about our strategy once we are in Lahore and see the pitch there,” Azam concluded.


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