Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali has expressed his eagerness to make a big score post a big score in the third Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Azhar has failed to have much of an impact in the first two Tests as he has mustered 44 runs at an average of 11.
The 33-year-old admits that he feels in good touch while practicing in the nets, but has failed to replicate that form when it counts.
“Since the last few years I have felt the best when I was batting in the nets,” Azhar was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “I had a decent series against New Zealand and was in good confidence coming into this series. I felt very good in the nets and during the side game. But, unfortunately, I haven’t performed in the Tests. I still have one Test and hope that I can convert that good touch into something in the middle. Because no matter how good you feel in the nets, it is important to transfer that in the middle. I am confident that if I get a good start I can convert it into a big score.”
Azhar was bounced out by South Africa seamer Duanne Olivier in his first three innings. Despite conceding that the Proteas’ pace attack has been superb throughout the series, he also acknowledged that he hasn’t been up to scratch when out in the middle.
“I knew we were going to get pace and bounce [here],” he said. “But, even the South African batsmen would say that the bounce has not been even. Cracks were there, but it was for the both teams. Maybe we should have done well and we had the opportunities. But, the South African bowlers bowled very well. All of the bowlers bowled at 140kph plus, apart from [Vernon] Philander, but he is very accurate.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan have already lost the series going into the third Test on January 11 as they trail 2-0. Despite this, Azhar insisted that his side will be eager to claim a consolation win as it will be a major morale booster for the entire team.
“It is disappointing to have lost the series. But, every Test match that we play on away tours in England, South Africa or Australia is important,” he said. “We will look to bring our A game and win the Test match. It will be very good for the morale. Because the tour doesn’t end here, we have ODIs after this series.”