Pakistan captain Babar Azam has lamented the team’s batting collapse in the second innings of the Galle Test on Thursday (July 28), which cost them the match. Chasing an improbable 508, Pakistan were well placed to draw the Test at 176 for 2. However, Mohammad Rizwan’s dismissal for 37 triggered a batting collapse, which saw them getting all out for 261. The 246-run defeat meant Pakistan had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the two-match series.
Having beaten a strong South African outfit in the first Test in This win was very necessaryin four days, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam described the seven-wicket win as very important for the team. Pakistan were coming off a 0-2 in New Zealand in the absence of Azam, and were under extreme pressure going into the Test series against South Africa. Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis too had come in for heavy criticism in the build up to the South Africa series.
Rated as one of the best batsmen across formats in the world at present, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who was recently handed over the captaincy of the team in all formats, explained that watching former Pakistan batsman Mohammed Yousuf gave him great enjoyment, and that he idolises the legend.
Australia’s in-form batsman Marnus Labuschagne has continued his rise in the ICC Test Player Rankings following his knocks of 143 and 50 in the Perth Test. The knocks followed his 185 and 162 in the two Tests against Pakistan at Brisbane and Adelaide. Labuschagne, whose fortunes changed after he was brought in as concussion substitute for Steve Smith during the Ashes Test at Lord’s, moved up to number five from eight.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sacked its veteran wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain of both the Test and T20I side. Not only that, owing to his consistent ‘poor form’, Sarfaraz has also been dropped as player from both the Test and T20I teams. While Azhar Ali has been appointed captain for the Test matches, Babar Azam will lead the team in the T20Is.