ISLAMABAD: Former Test captain Azhar Ali Sunday regretted missing out on a maiden Test century against New Zealand but at the same time expressed his happiness over his contribution as a batsman that helped the tourists post a decent first innings total on a tricky pitch.
Talking to media at the end of the first day’s play of the second Test in Christchurch, Azhar said it was not an easy pitch for batting.
“With the new red cherry, conditions were very tough on the opening day. With a considerable movement with the old ball too, this ground has a history of helping seamers and it lived up to its reputation on Sunday too. I regret not being able to score my first Test century. I hope the second innings will provide me the desired opportunity.”
The former captain, however, was happy as his innings helped his team post a decent first innings total.
“The good thing about my innings was a good fighting total. New Zealand bowlers kept on taking help from the track, however we made sure to keep up the run tempo high throughout the day. You face equal chances of scoring and getting out on such tracks. Unlike the first Test, here the pitch gave us every opportunity to play strokes and get runs quickly.”
Azhar also praised the batsmen as they all chipped in to take the score to 300 mark.
“This is a competitive score and I think we have good chances if our bowlers consistently bowl to a usual nagging line and length today. I believe we can bowl out New Zealand for a low total.”
To a question on Zafar Gohar’s debut in Test and his contribution with the bat, he said the debutant had shown he was a true all-rounder.
“The way he handled Kiwis bowlers was really a good sign for the future of Pakistan cricket. Zafar showed that he has the ability to perform where it matters the most.”
Azhar also hoped to end the tour on a high. “Now when we have a good score, we will go all out for a win and InshaAllah we would achieve that.”
Source: The News