The series was vital for us, need to improve in the shortest format, reckons Babar Azam

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Babar Azam's Pakistan lost the series decider against England on Sunday by 67 runs

(Pakistan Cricket Board)

The series was vital for us, need to improve in the shortest format, reckons Babar Azam

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SportsCafe Desk

10/03/2022

Babar Azam acknowledged that his team needs to change a few things after suffering a series loss against England at home on the back of a big defeat in the decider on Sunday. He went on to express confidence in the bowling unit and assert the importance the series held for them in a wider context.

Pakistan succumbed to England by 67 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday, thus ending up on the losing side of the seven-match series by a margin of 4-3.

Batting first, Dawid Malan's unbeaten 78 off just 47 deliveries alongside explosive cameos from Ben Duckett and Harry Brook took England to a huge total of 209/3 in their 20 overs. In response, the hosts' accomplished opening duo of skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan returned to the pavilion within the first 10 balls, leaving the team a mountain to climb. Pakistan's middle order struggles came to the fore once again soon after and despite a half-century from Shan Masood, they fell well short of the target. Chris Woakes ended up as the side's best-performing bowler with figures of 3/26.

"It was definitely difficult. With 200 runs on the board, if we lose early wickets, it puts pressure on the other batters," Azam was quoted saying in the post-match press conference by India Today.

This was England's first tour of Pakistan since 2005 after having canceled the previously scheduled visit in 2021 at the very last moment. The Europeans will be pleased to return victorious but they did not have it easy courtesy of some valiant performances from the Men in Green. While there were some world-class innings from Azam and Rizwan at the top of the order, their bowling unit put in some crucial efforts as well. Azam seemed to be particularly impressed by 28-year-old right-arm quick Haris Rauf, who picked up six scalps in as many games in the series.

"This series was vital for us. We need to improve in the shortest format. I also mentioned at the toss, that we have a good bowling attack. Haris is bowling well, and he is improving everyday. I think entire Pakistan was waiting for this, even we were happy to host England," Azam added.

Pakistan will now travel Down Under to New Zealand to participate in a T20I tri-series alongside the hosts and Bangladesh. They play their first game against the Asian rivals on October 7 in Christchurch and will proceed to fly to Australia after the tournament for the World T20.

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