Pakistan captain Babar Azam has rated his 196 in the second Test against Australia as ”one of his best innings” which has helped his team draw the game from a precarious position.
Pakistan in pursuit of a huge target of 506, ended on 443 for 7 with hundreds from Babar and Mohammed Rizwan.
”I think credit goes to the team for having a lot of self belief in themselves and coming back strongly after batting poorly in the first innings. My innings is definitely one of my better ones and I am glad it helped us draw the match,” Babar said in the post match conference.
He said he always rated those of his innings very highly which played a big role in Pakistan winning a match or saving it.
The top batter also admitted that he and Muhammad Rizwan had not given much thought to taking a shot at chasing down the total and when wickets fell they played for a draw.
”In the second innings every one gave his 100 percent because we had self-belief in ourselves we could save the match. We decided to take it session by session and not think too much ahead,” he said.
Babar added that had he and Rizwan batted together a little longer they would have gone for a run chase but when he and Faheem Ashraf got out on successive balls the best option was to play for a draw.
The Pakistan captain Babar Azam also didn’t accept criticism of the pitches used so far in the two tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi insisting they were the same for both teams.
”In Karachi, you usually get some reverse swing and the Australian bowlers got some on the third day and we contributed with some soft dismissals.” He noted that spinners had also got some turn in Karachi and Test cricket was always tough but the pitch was not easy to bat on as one had to concentrate hard and it was not easy for a new batsman coming in to bat.
Cummins happy with team’s performance, Australian captain, Pat Cummins said he was happy and proud of the way his team had played despite failing to win from an advantageous position.
”I think before we came to Pakistan to the different conditions here we would have gladly taken a 0-0 line after two Tests. Yes, after coming so close, it is a missed opportunity but we didn’t lose anything,” he said at a post match conference.
Cummins also said it was a combination of some costly missed chances by Australia and some fantastically good batting by Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique which led to a drawn Test.
”I think first of all it was a really good test and had we taken our catches the situation could have been different for us. But I am proud and happy at the way we played throughout this match,” he added.
Cummins also said that though the pitch helped the spinners a bit more on the final day but it didn’t break up and didn’t play as many tricks as expected on the fourth and fifth days.
He also didn’t feel even if Australia had enforced the follow-on after bowling out Pakistan for 148 runs in 53 overs, it would have made any difference to the final outcome.
”I think the pitch was pretty good on the final day and they batted really well. We created more chances and if we had taken a couple of catches it would have been a different scenario but this is how it goes in Test cricket,” he said.
Cummins put down Pakistan being bowled out for 53 overs in their first innings and then batting for 171.4 overs to save the match to reverse swing playing a big role in the second session on the third day when Pakistan was bowled out cheaply.
”I think reverse swing bowling can be a real factor on the game especially, if you get a breakthrough and a get a new batter in things very quickly but I thought Babar, Rizwan, Shafique they batted fantastically last on last two days.” Cummins felt that he tried everything that he could have.
”Honestly, I walked off the field today without feeling there was something we had not tried or some plan we had not given some chance,” he said.