Despite 3-0 thrashing by England, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam admits no pressure and hopes his side begin afresh in New Zealand series starting today
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and New Zealand captain Tim Southee (right) pose with the Test series trophy at the National Stadium in Karachi yesterday. Pic/AFP
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is focusing on turning around his team’s fortunes in the upcoming two-test series against New Zealand rather than getting distracted by the sudden shakeup of the Pakistan Cricket Board setup.
Overhaul in PCB
Former PCB chairman Najam Sethi returned to lead the board after the government removed Ramiz Raja in the aftermath of Pakistan’s 3-0 loss to England in a test series last week. Shahid Afridi was named interim chief selector as well.
“Things have changed in the past two, three days and there have been changes, but as a professional you have to face such things,” Babar said Sunday on the eve of the first test.
“We could not play the last series the way we wanted and committed small mistakes that left us behind,” Babar said. “To be honest I don’t take pressure. If you take pressure, your game goes down. I have belief that it’s a new day, new team and a new match.”
Another slow grassless wicket has been prepared for the first test with spinners from both sides expected to call the shots as the games progress.
Like Pakistan, New Zealand was also whitewashed 3-0 by England after McCullum and captain Ben Stokes took charge of the team last summer and promptly routed them.
Southee wary of conditions
“The subcontinent is so foreign to us,” Southee said. “England played an incredible style of cricket and the way they did was very impressive. We’ll be trying to look for ways that’ll work for us as a side and hopefully we can put in a performance that works for our side. We’re looking forward to the challenge. It’s a new series. I’m sure Pakistan will be looking to bounce back after a tough series.
“When you come here, you tend to think that spinners will have more of an impact. But, England showed that there’s a place for the pace bowlers as well.”
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