Disappointed to have been involved in a horrible mix-up and eventually out run-out on Day 1 of the second Test at Dubai against New Zealand, right-hand batsman Azhar Ali has quite amusingly confirmed there is still no love lost between him and his partner in crime at the time, Haris Sohail.
Coming together at 25/2, Azhar and Sohail dug into the task quite hard ans showed a lot of patience and resilience in their 126-run stand. Before one moment of madness ended it all and saw the experienced right-hander walk back to the pavillion with Pakistan still 151/3, batting first.
"He had the realisation," said Azhar, when asked how his dressing room interaction with Sohail was like and continued, "In the heat of the moment, one does get hurt. He is batting at the moment and should be supported that he goes on to play a big innings. Such stuff does happen," before affirming, "It was my call. The psyche of running between wickets is that the person who has the ball in his sight in front of him will call."
"I think Haris was not ready because of which he couldn't respond otherwise it was a very easy single."
The pain of missing out on a big ton must be deeeper, though. Especially for Azhar, who was batting on 81 on a really flat surface and hasn't scored a hundred in last 18 months at the Test level.
The 33-year-old expressed, "If we give a lot of emphasis on the run outs, it would lead to the lack of trust [amongst the batsmen]. Such things do happen. We should move on after such dismissals. We should learn from our mistakes. What happened in Abu Dhabi against Australia is not acceptable at all."
"This is a misunderstanding and it happens in cricket. We should try to minimise them but at the end of the day you shouldn't lose trust because you have to run with the same batsmen," he added.
Azhar also spoke about the game situation, where on an attritional day Pakistan batted their way to just 207/4 in 90 overs when the average Day 1 score at Dubai in 251, and said, "I think we are 20 to 25 runs short. The pitch is not very fluent. There's spin in it. The pacers bowled straight with the fielders positioned in front. It becomes very difficult to bat with fielders there. So, they kept the pacers on for longer spells to keep us from scoring."
"You can score against spinners, even when there's turn, by improvisation and we could have pushed more against spinners. We, however, are sitting in a decent position. A score of 300 plus is a good one here," he signed off.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)