PAK vs ENG: Babar Azam says curator at Rawalpindi ground took his inputs but never provided track he wanted

Image Source : AP Babar Azam

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said that the curator at the Rawalpindi Cricket ground took his inputs but failed to provide the track that he had asked for in the first Test against England. 

The hosts lost the Test by 74 runs on the fifth day. England had made a declaration leaving Pakistan with a target of 343 in over 100 overs and the home team was bundled up for 268 on the final day.

The pitch had been panned by one and all after England scored more than 500 on the first day and seven centuries were scored across the first two innings.

“Yes my input was there in the preparation of the pitch and we made it clear what we wanted but we didn’t get that because of the weather or whatever reason. But we wanted a track with some turn for the spinners,” Babar told a post-match conference on Monday.

Babar also appreciated England for continuing to play with positive intent.

“We were expecting they would continue to play like that against us. I think it becomes difficult for a captain when your bowlers are not hitting the right areas and runs are being scored on both sides of the wicket. But full credit to them the way they batted in both innings,” he said.

“It is never easy to come back after the opposition scores 500 on the first day but I thought we batted well and came close to their total but in the second innings our batters didn’t live up to the responsibility,” he said.

Babar expressed that it was disappointing to let go of such an opportunity to win a Test match.

“I thought we were very much in the match till after lunch today to win the match unfortunately we lost back-to-back wickets and that didn’t help. But Anderson and Robinson bowled outstandingly well.” 

England skipper Ben Stokes also shared his experience about the 1st Test victory.

“Some of the things we can’t plan for is what happened to the squad before the Test. Seems like a long time ago when we were running around to find players for the Test. We’ve played 8-9 matches with myself and Brendon in charge,” he said.

“One thing we try to do is focus on ourselves and not the opposition. Was a great batting surface, so it was an opportunity for our batting group. We wanted to come here to Pakistan and carry on with our mantra of exciting cricket. I’ve got no interest in trying to play for a draw, the dressing room has no interest in playing for a draw,” he added.

“We won probably about 8 minutes before we would’ve come off. This is probably up there as one of England’s greatest away wins,” Stokes concluded.

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