Azhar Ali said that the pressure will be on Pakistan to beat Australia in the second Test in Abu Dhabi starting Tuesday. The tourists managed to carve out a draw despite Pakistan dominating for most the game. “I can’t say if the pressure will be more on Pakistan or Australia but we are the home side and obviously people expect us to win and so there is pressure,” said Azhar on Sunday.
“However, having said that these are favourable conditions for us and we have to make the most of it. Pressure is always different in every match and obviously this is a decider. Being the home team we have to win it and we will enter the field thinking that. We will look to play positive cricket and hopefully the result will go our way,” Azhar Ali.
Pakistan declared with Australia needing 462 to win in 137 overs. While they did manage to get Australia down to 87/3, Usman Khawaja led the Australian resistance. He scored a defiant 141 alongwith other gritty innings by Travis Head and captain Tim Paine. Paine and Nathan Lyon then played out the last overs and managed to save the Test.
The draw may mean a few changes for Pakistan, including the likelihood of calling Fakhar Zaman despite his porr form in the Asia Cup. “When playing for Pakistan one has to be ready for everything,” said Azhar. “I have always believed in that and whatever the team management decides or the captain decides, I will be ready to do that.”
Azhar admitted Pakistan players were disappointed at not winning the first Test. “We are not disheartened but, yes, disappointed, obviously after dominating the Test match throughout and then not winning it,” said Azhar, a veteran of 66 Tests. Unfortunately we couldn’t win but I think we also have to give credit to the Australians as well as they showed resilience and kept fighting till the end,” said Azhar.