"There was no pressure. I'd be lying if I say that not scoring a Test century was a burden on me. The difference is that I did the job today. My previous best scores will be counted as half-centuries. I had heard that scoring a Test century is special and that's exactly what I experienced today. I was out on 99 against Australia. It's definitely a relief to get over the line. I have gained a lot of confidence in the wake of scoring this hundred,” he said.
Coming in at No. 6, Azam scored a patient 127* before Pakistan declared their first innings at 418 for 5 on Day 2 of the second Test against New Zealand at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Apart from Azam, Azhar Ali (81) and Haris Sohail (147) too came up with solid contributions.
Known for scoring freely, Azam took his time and constructed his innings without any rush.
"In the UAE, the wickets are on the slower side. You can't play through the line, you need to take your time and be patient. Our plan was to build partnerships. We were trying to complement each other. If I played a poor shot, Haris would come and counsel me and vice versa. Our plan was to dig in deep,” he said.
New Zealand were 24 for no loss at the end of Day 2, and Azam was confident that the track will offer enough assistance to their spinners on the third day.
"The ball isn't coming onto the bat; it's really slow. The spinners are getting purchase off the wicket. Hopefully, our bowlers will benefit from the conditions as well. We are confident we'll get them out cheaply."
First Published: November 26, 2018, 1:37 AM IST