Pakistan Bank on Their Pace Battery to Dominate Bangladesh, Says Azhar Ali

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Bangladesh have toured Pakistan for the Test series without two of their key players – Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan. While Rahim didn’t go for security reasons, Shakib has been serving a ban. But Pakistan are confident to defeat them with their pace battery, thinks captain Azhar Ali.

South Africa v Bangladesh - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said on Thursday that they must use the advantage at home as the first Test will take place at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

“Test matches are always played on your strength and at the moment we feel our fast bowling is our strength,” Azhar said.

“They are missing a couple of key players and on current form we can say we have an upper hand. You take advantage in your home conditions.”

Pakistan have a young, as well as, talented fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi in their kitty. Along with them, Mohammad Abbas is there too. They picked up 16 wickets between them in December when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 263 runs in the second Test at Karachi whereas the first Test was washed out at Rawalpindi.

azhar-ali-pakistanAlong with the bowlers, the Pakistan top order also contributed, including Azhar, Abid Ali, Shan Masood, and Babar Azam. They scored centuries at Karachi. Abid scored a century on debut in the washed-out first Test against Sri Lanka.

“We have to play our best game to beat Bangladesh,” Azhar Ali said. “Even though they don’t have senior players, they have (other) players who can give match-winning performances. We have to not give them a chance.”

Pakistan have earned 80 points in the World Test Championship so far, while, on the other hand, Bangladesh are yet to open their account after losing both of the Tests against India. However, Mominul said they will try to do well even without Mushiqur.

“When you don’t have one of your best players, sometimes it’s a bit difficult, but on the other hand you can say it’s a good opportunity for a new player,” Mominul said.

“(Our) expectation is we are going to play good cricket here. We are not good enough overseas, so we have to try to improve ourselves here.”


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