Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam expressed excitement to play at his home ground for the first time when his team takes on a challenging Australia in the third and last test here on Monday at the Gaddafi Stadium.
“It is a different feeling that cannot be described in words. For the first time I will be playing a test, match in Lahore. I will try to give the best performance in front of the home crowd,” he told the media at a virtual press conference on Sunday. Babar Azam showered praise on former test captain, Azhar Ali, saying he (Azhar) made a great contribution to Pakistan cricket by performing well. “We cannot omit anyone based on his performance in a single match,” he said.
To a question, the star batsman said his team would take on the opponents in a decent way, enter the field confidently, and try to win the third match. He said wicket keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan always bowls during the net sessions and the prime objective of the practice was to help each other.
Answering a question, the world’s topmost batsman said the final line-up of the match would be announced after inspection of the wicket before the match. “We will be deciding the playing side on Sunday, but the final line-up would be named before the match,” he asserted.
Babar Azam said that winning the ongoing home series against Australia was quite challenging and “very important” as it would add to teams’ confidence. “Definitely we will be playing the test to achieve a result and winning the series is very important for us,” he said.
The star batsman said the pitch did not look much different, but it seems that it would get a turn.
“The entire team is excited to play Test in Lahore for the first time. We want to achieve success in Lahore and are working hard for it.”
The home skipper said that the pitch does not seem much different but he feels that this pitch would give the team a turn.
“Performing well is as important as winning the toss. However, it is true that bowling in the fourth innings is a difficult task but this is a part of the sport and the test,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding the criticism Pakistan faced over a low run rate; Babar said that they have to face criticism whether they play well or not. “But, we don’t take criticism negatively, we support each other.” “The run rate is according to the situation and Pakistan’s run rate is not that slow.
Australian captain Pat Cummins expressed confidence in his team ahead of the third test against Pakistan saying he is hopeful that the tourism side will not miss more chances in the decisive game.
“I have confidence in my team, we can’t afford to miss more chances now”, he said adding, “We will be fielding with the same side of the Karachi test“.
“We had a chance to win in Karachi so we didn’t have to take advantage of that opportunity. We don’t have to do much wrong in fielding,” said Pat Cummins. The Australian captain said, “There is no grass on the pitch. We shouldn’t miss the chance, we need two spinners but we don’t want you to consider it,”
The touring captain termed the third test “a big match”. He said the weather is very hot for fast bowlers; there is not much experience to play in such conditions. Regarding Babar Azam’s sterling performance and knock in the Karachi test, he said the home captain performed well and the Pakistan team also played well and the dead wicket had a role in it.
“We have made plans for him (Babar) keeping in mind his extraordinary exhibition at Karachi.”