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Babar Azam reacts after embarrassing home series loss against England | READ

We were unfortunate that our main fast bowlers were not fit. The new players did perform but couldn't execute the way we wanted: Babar Azam following 3-0 Test series loss against England.

Kartik Mehindru Edited By: Kartik Mehindru @mehindrukartik New Delhi Published on: December 20, 2022 17:28 IST
Babar Azam | File Photo
Image Source : AP Babar Azam | File Photo

Reflecting on an embarrassing series whitewash against England, Babar Azam rued injuries to his main pace bowlers and said that the new players weren't able to execute the plans the way the team wanted.  

The Reason

“We were unfortunate that our main fast bowlers were not fit. The new players did perform but couldn't execute the way we wanted. When things were in our hands we had soft dismissals in those times and due to that we couldn't win matches which we should have won,” Babar said. England recorded an emphatic eight-wicket win in the third and final test and handed Pakistan its first 3-0 whitewash in a home test series.

Pakistan's premier fast bowler Shaheen Afridi was ruled out for the series because of a knee injury while Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah also sustained injuries during the first test which ruled them out for the last two matches. “Fitness has the main role because if you are not extra fit you cannot compete in all the three formats. You get two to three days to switch from one format to the other and you have to be mentally ready as well," Babar said.

Pakistan gave test caps to seamer Mohammad Ali, who took four wickets in the first test before he finished wicketless in the second test and got dropped from the final match. Fast bowler Mohammad Wasim had a disappointing debut in the final test and could take only one wicket and that was after Harry Brook had completed his third successive century of England's memorable tour.

“When you don't have the backbone of your bowling, then new bowlers found it difficult to adjust quickly. The way England played, they did not let us settle down,” Babar said. England scored at a belligerent pace throughout the series that began with a world-record 506-4 on the opening day of the first test and culminated with 170-2 at better than run-a-ball at Karachi on Tuesday.

Also Read: ICC gives its verdict on pitch used in 1st Test between Australia and South Africa

Babar said Pakistan's strength was its batting, but in all three test matches, the middle order and the lower order crashed against England's pace and spin. Left-handed Saud Shakeel, who made his test debut, couldn't convert his four fifties into big hundreds and Babar also performed in patches. 

Was It Even Close?

Pakistan twice came close in the first two test matches before succumbing under Ben Stokes' aggressive tactics and lost by 74 runs and 26 runs at Rawalpindi and Multan, respectively. “Our strength was our batting, but we played well in patches and couldn't finish the games,” Babar said.

“It's a big disappointment that we couldn't apply ourselves in the series, but we must praise England for the way they played their cricket, we must appreciate that,” he added.

Pakistan will next face New Zealand in two-match Test series followed by three One Day Internationals.

(Inputs PTI)

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