Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said when Agha Salman and Azhar Ali got out after the tea break on the fifth day of the first Test against England in Rawalpindi, he knew his side were in trouble.
Both batsmen were settled at the crease and looked to be taking Pakistan to a famous win.
However, when Salman and Azhar were dismissed by Ollie Robinson in the space of two overs for 30 and 40 respectively, Azam had a sinking feeling that his team were “getting behind”.
“I think when we lost Agha and Azhar Ali after the tea, I started to get a feeling that we are getting behind,” he was quoted as saying by Cricwick.
The first Test ended up going down to the wire as Pakistan looked to survive till the end of the final day. However, it was not to be as England spinner Jack Leach trapped Naseem Shah lbw for six runs to hand his side a 74-run win.
Azam applauded Naseem and debutant Mohammad Ali for hanging in there and giving it their all in an attempt to salvage a draw.
He acknowledged that the top and middle order batsmen should have taken more responsibility and finished the match as Pakistan looked to be cruising at one point.
“I thought Naseem and Mohammad Ali showed a great effort, unfortunately Naseem got out. But as a batting unit, we should’ve taken responsibility and not leave on the tailenders. We should’ve won this match since things were in our control,” he said.
The second Test between Pakistan and England will get underway on Friday in Multan.
Pakistan’s Squad for England Test Series: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Ali, Shan Masood, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Saud Shakeel, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed