Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is confident about their chances in the ICC World Test Championship as they are scheduled to being their campaign in November. The team has faced a lot of ups and downs since the retirement of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq but Sarfraz feels the batsmen are now ready.
The bar of the ICC World Test Championship, which started on August 1, has been set really high by the recently concluded Ashes 2019 series which ended in a 2-2 draw with Australia retaining the urn. The amount of drama, the quality of cricket and the intense competition in the series has set the tone of how the Test championship should be.
Meanwhile, Pakistan - currently ranked seventh amongst the 12 Test teams - has been struggling in the longest format in the last two years ever since Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan walked out. However, skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed believes that they are ready to challenge other teams with a well-improved batting unit, despite admitting the fact that they have not been convincing enough in the past couple of years. Under Sarfaraz, the team has lost home series' against Sri Lanka and New Zealand and were thrashed in South Africa as well.
“After in-and-out performances in the last two years since the retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, I think we are now ready to challenge other teams in the World Test Championship,” he said, according to PTI.
“We have struggled after losing Misbah and Younis and we are in a rebuilding process. But now I think our batsmen are ready to fill the gaps and take responsibility.
“We have Shaan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail and Babar Azam who have now gone through the grind and can do well at the Test level. There is also lot of experience now behind Azhar and Asad,” he added.
As far as the bowling department is concerned, the skipper believes that the team needs to find some good spinners to support Yasir Shah and with Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir's having walked away from Test cricket, a couple of fast bowlers are required to step up.
“We need to work on our bowling now and we have a couple of exciting pacers to look at and find some spinners. I think we are now in a position to do well in the test format which now has more meaning and purpose and every match is important,” he added.
Pakistan will begin their Test Championship campaign when they tour Australia in November. The two teams are scheduled to play two Tests followed by a home Test series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
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