Azhar Ali to bat at number 3 in second Test against Australia


Pakistan’s skipper Azhar Ali has revealed that he will bat at number three as the green shirts take on Australia in the second Test from November 29 in Adelaide.

While talking to the reporters in a pre-match conference, Azhar said that the team management has decided to go with two openers, probably Shan Masood and Imam-ul-Haq, hence he will bat at number three.

“We had a long discussion over our mistakes. The team management has decided to make a few changes to the team in the second Test. We have also decided to shuffle our batting order and I will bat at number three,” he said.

The captain said that they tried their best to give tough time to Australians. They batted well at the start but fell short later in the day. “I think we lack execution of plan later in the day. If you see our start, we played strongly but a sudden collapse led to our downfall,” he highlighted.

Mohammad Abbas’s inclusion

Azhar hinted that Abbas will be back in the playing XI for the second Test. The side felt his absence and will surely make the most of one of the strongest pacers Pakistan has in Test cricket.

“He [Abbas] is a strong option we have. We know he can be lethal for us and Australian conditions are ideal for him. He has prepared himself well for the challenge while sitting out during the first contest and I hope he will make a mark for us,” he said.

Young Naseem Shah

“Naseem had gone through immense pain but still he managed to get through it and played for Pakistan. At such a young age, he has impressed big names in the cricket world with immense pace, his attitude, and aggression,” Azhar said of Naseem who is likely to sit-out in the second match.

Azhar is confident that Naseem will be a future star due to his potent skills if used according to his strength. “We have to look into his capability and use him accordingly. The extra burden will affect his performance,” he said.

Australia’s batting

To a query about how difficult it is to get Australia out in both innings at their home ground, Azhar thinks that Australian batsmen are too strong at their home conditions.

“It is history that Australians are powerful in their backyard. You can’t get rid of them immediately. You have to bowl with a lot of courage if you want to bowl them out earlier,” he said.

Talking about David Warner’s special knock, Azhar called him a world-class player. “Warner is one of the strongest Aussie batsmen. You have to unsettle him immediately otherwise he will smash you anyway,” he concluded.