Azhar Ali (AP photo)
LONDON: Despite losing the first Test against England, Pakistan fast bowling coach Waqar Younis has backed team’s captain Azhar Ali and is expecting the skipper to deliver in the remaining two Tests.
“Being a captain and playing in the top order is not easy. He’s been captain before as well, so he’ll understand that. When you’re in bad form or have had a bad game, everything gets scrutinised. I’ve been captain myself so I know what he’s going through. You have several more responsibilities, and on top of all that, you have to focus on your batting as well,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Younis as saying.
“Like I said, if we’d won this match, then he’d get a lot more encouragement and confidence. But he’s a seasoned player who has played 80 Tests and scored runs in England before, too. He knows how to come out of these situations and I expect him to deliver in the upcoming two Test matches,” he added.
England defeated Pakistan by three wickets in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Ali had scored 0 and 18 in the first and second innings respectively in the first Test.
Younis also said that as the team is returning to play Test cricket after a couple of months, tiredness would not be an issue for the pacers.
“We haven’t decided who we’re going to play at the moment, but we haven’t played any cricket for a long period of time,” he said.
“It’s been five months since we last played a Test. I don’t think tiredness is an issue with the team. Yes, it’s very hot here, but it’s going to cool down in the next few days, and I’m sure they’ve got plenty of gas left the tank to tackle this Test and we’ll see how it goes after,” Younis added.
The second Test between both teams will commence on Thursday.