Cricket

Everyone is raring to go, says Azhar Ali

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali looks on during a nets session at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Pakistan are scheduled to play their first Test against England on August 5 to 9.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali said his team was looking forward to the England challenge, having shared the honours in the last two series in England, most recently under current coach Misbah-ul-Haq in 2018.

“We've prepared as best as we could in the time we had. The players have put in a lot of effort, and we believe we’re ready for the Tests,” Azhar said about the three-Test series which begins at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“Everyone is raring to go. We have to be on top of our game in all departments against a team like England. We need to have a clear mind and a positive attitude that we can win,” said Azhar.

Hit the ground running

Misbah felt that Pakistan must hit the ground running if it has to have any chance against the hosts.

“We're aware that England has a slight advantage, but if we're alert and go 100% in the first Test, that’s the only way we can beat England... otherwise we will find ourselves in trouble,” said Misbah.

England has lost the first game in eight of its last 10 Test series, including against the West Indies recently, but Misbah said the host’s reverse against the West Indies in its opening game could have been due to the long break.

The teams (from): England: Joe Root (Capt.), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (Capt.), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan and Yasir Shah.

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth; TV umpire: Michael Gough; Reserve umpire: Steve O'Shaughnessy; Match referee: Chris Broad.

Match starts at 3.30 p.m IST.

Pakistan’s tour of England will be aired live on Sony Six channels from August 5, 3.30 p.m.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2020 12:49:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/everyone-is-raring-to-go-says-azhar-ali/article32271016.ece

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