The Players Are Emotional About This Test-Series - Azhar Ali > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Players are very emotional about this Test series - Azhar Ali

The last two series in SA & Australia have been tough for us. We know how important this series is: Azhar

The last two series in SA & Australia have been tough for us. We know how important this series is: Azhar

With Sri Lanka all set to feature in the first ever Test match in Pakistan in over ten years, skipper Azhar Ali is hopeful more teams will follow suit in the future. No team has played Test cricket in Pakistan ever since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 with the Pakistan Cricket Board hosting teams in neutral venues. But after a decade, the Sri Lankan side will return now to play two Test matches, with the first game beginning on Wednesday (December 11) in Rawalpindi.

"All the players are very emotional about this Test series," Azhar said ahead of the game. "It is great to be back to our home grounds and I just hope that Test cricket returns regularly to Pakistan now."

Putting emotions aside quickly, Azhar wants his side to turn their fortunes around quickly in the longer format. Pakistan have lost their last six Tests and their most recent series win was against Australia in UAE more than a year ago. The Pakistan batting mainstay has also asked for patience instead of making too many changes to the personnel following the poor run.

"It is unacceptable the way we lost in Australia," Azhar admitted. "The last two series in South Africa and Australia have been tough for us. We know how important this series is. We need to turn to reverse our results and get back on the winning track as there is a lot of pride in Pakistan cricket and we need to win back the confidence of the fans.

"We have never kept patience and we don't give the rebuilding process time. I think these players have a lot of potential and they will soon come out of their comfort zone once they play under different conditions. We have to keep patience instead of calling for changes."

Azhar refused to take Sri Lanka lightly despite the fact Pakistan are playing at home and has backed Yasir Shah to get back amongst the wickets after a poor series in Australia recently. "Sri Lanka has always been a tough team because they play disciplined cricket," he observed. "We also have to play disciplined cricket in every department. Test cricket demands disciplined cricket. You can't win a Test in one session but you can lose a Test in one session. So one has to be disciplined to beat Sri Lanka at home or away.

"We have to rely on our bowling attack. Yasir Shah didn't do well in Australia but he has won us many matches and I think he will return to his old self in this series. We have confidence in our attack and we are backing them."

The 34-year-old Ali himself is battling poor form having not registered a half-century in his last 11 innings. "I am aware of the situation and I am trying to get back into form," he said. "In terms of playing, I am happy it is just that I have been unable to transfer my innings into big scores and I am working on that.

"If, after 10 years of top cricket I can't handle the pressure then I shouldn't be playing for Pakistan. I just focus now on how I can best play a role and help the team win. I want to contribute to our team winning matches."

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