Captain Babar thrilled to play first time at home ground against Australia
LAHORE – Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam feels excited 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 at the Gaddafi Stadium today (Monday).
“It is a different feeling that cannot be described in words. For the first time, I will be playing a test match in Lahore and I will try to give the best performance in front of the home crowd,” he told media men at a virtual press conference on Sunday.
Babar Azam showered praise on former test captain, Azhar Ali saying he (Azhar) made great contributions to Pakistan cricket by performing well. “We cannot omit anyone based on his performance in a single match,” he said.
To a query, the star batsman said that his team will take on the opponents in a decent way and will enter the field confidently and try to win the third match. He said wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan always bowls during at the net sessions and prime objective of this practice is help each other.
Answering another question, the world’s top most batsman said final line up of the match will be announced after inspection of the wicket before the match. “We decided the playing side on Sunday but final lineup be named before the match,” he asserted.
Babar said that winning the ongoing home series against Australia is quite challenging and ‘very important’ as it would add to the team’s 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 that the pitch does not look much different but it seems that this pitch will 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. “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 same side of 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,” he added.
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’, saying, “The weather is very hot for fast bowlers, there is not much experience to play in such conditions.”
Regarding Babar Azam sterling performance and knock in the Karachi test, he said the home captain performed well and Pakistan team also played well and dead wicket had a role in it. “We have made plans for Babar keeping in mind his extraordinary exhibition at Karachi.”