Saturday, January 07, 2023
By
Reuters

Babar Azam rues winless home season

Pakistan twice returned from brink of defeat to force a 0-0 stalemate in two-Test series against New Zealand

By
Reuters
Cricket - Third Test - Pakistan v England - National Stadium Karachi, Pakistan - December 18, 2022. Pakistans captain Babar Azam makes field placings.— Reuters
Cricket - Third Test - Pakistan v England - National Stadium Karachi, Pakistan - December 18, 2022. Pakistan's captain Babar Azam makes field placings.— Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam is dejected by the team's winless home season but refuses to blame players' injuries or unresponsive pitches for their lean run.

Pakistan twice returned from the brink of defeat to force a 0-0 stalemate in the two-Test series against New Zealand, which followed a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of England last month.

They have now gone eight Tests at home without a win, which put paid to their hopes of making the World Test Championship final, and Babar conceded this was not how he expected the season to unfold.

"The Test season hasn't gone according to expectations," Babar told a news conference after Pakistan narrowly avoided a third successive home series defeat.

"It's not an excuse but some of our players were unfit which disturbed our combination."

Their bowling unit particularly suffered.

Pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi remains sidelined with a knee injury, while fellow quick Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah missed the bulk of the series against England with niggles.

The pitches used for the series against England and New Zealand also drew flak for being too batter-friendly and Babar said it did not help their cause either.

"Of course there's talk about the pitches, but conditions are different at every venue.

"We give our input on pitches, but you get the pitches you get, and after that you have to execute your plans. You can't just complain about losing a match because of pitches.

"We prepared them according to our plans, but results didn't go our way."