Azhar unfazed by criticism ahead of second Sri Lanka Test

Pakistan captain eyes good score with the bat in Karachi

Azhar unfazed by criticism ahead of second Sri Lanka Test PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Karachi’s National Stadium will be under spotlight from Thursday, December 19 as Test cricket returns to the iconic venue.

Since hosting the first Test between Pakistan and India in 1955, the stadium has staged some of the most riveting red-ball encounters and has earned the reputation of being Pakistan cricket’s fortress because of the national side’s prolific record here.

With Pakistan and Sri Lanka — two of the most exciting Test sides — locking horns, the return of Test cricket at the National Stadium promises to be a truly historic occasion with high-octane cricket keeping the fans at the edge of their seats.

"We want to make this series a memorable one by winning this Test, we will try our best to get a good result,” said Azhar. "It's a home series for us and that is the biggest opportunity for any team in the WTC, to utilise it and win it and make home advantage count. Confidence will build up and we will go up the points table as well."

The Pakistan skipper was also unfazed by the criticism he was facing because of lack of runs in the recent past.

"When you aren't performing then there is nothing wrong with critics and criticism, this is what happens in cricket. When you perform, you get praise. I will try to play the best innings I can for the team. If that's a big innings, I haven't made runs for a while so the more the better. I will try to play a big innings here," he said.

Speaking about Pakistan’s lineup for the second Test, Azhar hinted that Pakistan will persist with the same team combination which featured in Rawalpindi with the exception of pacer Usman Shinwari — who has been diagnosed with typhoid.  

"We will reveal the team tomorrow. Fawad has been a consistent performer for a long time and he is an example for any player who plays cricket to not give up, he has come back in the team after a long time. He is capable and we will utilise him wherever we feel we need him. At the moment, we are continuing with our team but Fawad is in our plans, that's why he is in the squad," he said.