Pakistan Test skipper Azhar Ali believes that victories on home soil will boost the side’s confidence for foreign tours, ESPNcricinfo has reported.
“We played a lot in the UAE and, during that period, people discussed our slow scoring rate all the time,” Azhar said as quoted by the website. “Despite our numerous explanations, nobody understood that pitches there were very slow and containing the batsmen was easy for bowling sides. There we have to play with patience, but the conditions are different here [in Pakistan]. The outfield is quicker and as a result, the score moves fast, so I think our players will score big once they get settled. The more runs you have under your belt, the higher your confidence is and you have a greater chance to perform well in the next series. And we have that quality in our batting.”
Azhar believes every game in the World Test Championship is important. “While Tests both at home and away are equally significant, home games are more important because the probability of getting points is higher and that [the positive results] also boosts you up when you have a tough away series. We will play the Championship final only if we win the difficult series in England and New Zealand.
He said that his unit has to do well as the other sides are winning games and adding points to their tally.
Test cricket returned to Pakistan after nearly a decade with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh becoming the first two sides to play a series in the country since the attack on the Sri Lankan bus in 2009.
Pakistan’s Test skipper said that the teenage pace duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah are making full use of the opportunity given to them. “Shaheen was mainly playing one-dayers earlier but I told him that he will be the one to lead the attack. And I am impressed by how he made red-ball cricket his priority. He is not only determined to do well in this format but is also tagging Naseem along with him.”