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Sarfraz Ahmed Happy to Answer Critics with Gritty Knock Against Australia in Abu Dhabi

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 17, 2018, 8:23 AM IST
Sarfraz Ahmed Happy to Answer Critics with Gritty Knock Against Australia in Abu Dhabi

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Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said after the first day of the second Test between Pakistan and Australia in Abu Dhabi that he felt relieved as his knock of 92 helped his side put up a respectable total in the first innings.

Pakistan were 57/5 when Sarfraz came out to bat but ended the first innings at 282 all out thanks in no small part to his 147-run partnership with debutant Fakhar Zaman.

"Yeah the pressure was there, definitely. It's coming from all corners. Somebody is saying leave Test cricket, somebody is saying leave captaincy, some are saying leave him out of the team,” Sarfraz said.

"When all this happens and you score runs then it's a bit of relief and then to do it in a situation where you were 57/5 and in a really bad shape."

He was full of praise for the way his team fought back.

"It's good that we scored 282 and then got two wickets, including that of Usman Khawaja because he can play a long innings, so I think it has become even for both the teams now.

The skipper also had good things to say about the way Zaman rotated the strike, calling his overall performance “brilliant”.

"Fakhar played a brilliant knock and I got very good confidence from him because I like that the other batsmen rotate the strike and he did that and played brilliantly in his first match.

"He deserved credit for doing so well."

Zaman, returned the compliment and spoke about how having his captain at the other side helped him settle down.

“Sarfraz plays spin really well always, but I was not feeling comfortable. That’s why I was just blocking the ball and taking my time.”

He further stated that he had to fight his attacking instincts and not try to attack so much due to the situation they found themselves in after Nathan Lyon had taken four wickets in six balls.

“I changed [my method] because of the situation. Before the game I was just looking to play my natural game, but after that situation, 57/5, after that I was just looking to take the time because we weren’t in a good position to play naturally.”

Australia’s best bowler of the day, Lyon said that he was pleased to move past Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee into fourth place on Australia’s all-time Test wicket-takers list but that he still feels he has more left in him.

“It’s a massive personal achievement. There’ll be banter between me and Mitch tonight no doubt, can’t wait to get my phone. He’s been like a big brother for me in the Australian set-up, so no doubt there’ll be a message from him.”

“To do what I’ve achieved so far in my career is obviously very satisfying, but there’s still a lot of goals I want to tick off.”
First Published: October 17, 2018, 8:15 AM IST
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