Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali has called for patience on the final day of the first Test against Australia, saying there will be hard work for the bowlers on Dubai track, but they should stick with their plans to pick all seven wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series here.
Mohammad Abbas ruined a strong 87-run opening partnership between Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch by taking three wickets, but Australia bounced back with an unbroken stand between Khawaja (50*) and Travis Head (34*) taking them to 136/3 at stumps.
However, he admitted that it is going to be hard for the bowlers to pick 20 wickets but they will try hard to keep building pressure on the tourists to win the first match in Dubai.
Ali told reporters on October 10, “We know always that on this kind of track getting 20 wickets is hard work. But if you stick to your plans then the opportunity comes. Again, you’ve seen that after the opening partnership between Finch and Khawaja we kept on our plans and the results really came our way.”
While praising Abbas for his efforts, he said, “Mohammad Abbas executed his reverse-swing skills really well, bowled wicket to wicket and once the guys in get out, it’s a hard pitch to start on, so we know that if we can hang in there, keep building pressure, it’s going to be hard work for the batsmen too.”
However, Pakistan is in a strong position in the match at the moment with Australia needing 300 runs to win the first match with seven wickets at their hands, but Azhar warned the side to not think like their first innings where they slipped from 142 for no loss to 202 all out.
Azhar signed off by saying, “Sometimes it looks that way. But I think when the batsmen get in there’s equal opportunity for them and it’s hard work for the bowlers. It’s a slow track, but there’s still spin there, and if you can reverse the ball then there are still opportunities. So, there’s a lot of hard work to be done but I think we’re standing in a very good position right now.”