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Cricket news - Need to give more game time to Test regulars - Babar

Babar Azam registered a golden duck in the first Test

Babar Azam registered a golden duck in the first Test

After winning the T20I series by a 2-1 margin against Zimbabwe, Pakistan were even more clinical against the hosts in the first Test as they won by an innings and 116 runs. It was a top notch effort by Pakistan and skipper Babar Azam informed, on Thursday (May 7), that they're most likely to stick to the winning combination for the second Test.

"We won the first Test convincingly in three days, so we are most likely to go ahead with the winning combination (for the second Test),'' said Babar Azam addressing the media.

"Our openers set the tone (in the first Test) and the middle order took forward the momentum, especially Fawad Alam whose experience was very important for us in Tests," said Azam. "Hasan Ali was outstanding and Shaheen Afridi bowled well, in fact, our bowlers dominated the first Test."

Having won the first Test, Pakistan's aim will be to finish their tour on a high. And for that they cannot afford to be complacent. They've shortlisted 13 players for the match and will finalise on the XI on the match day.

"We will try to win the second Test as well, but we'll try to finalise the final XI after inspecting the pitch. We have a big series coming up against West Indies, so it's important to give some game time to our regular Test players. As a team, we want to keep winning wherever we tour."

Babar Azam, the top ranked batsman in ODIs and No 3 in T20Is, has shown an improved record even in the longest format in the last couple of years and will be looking to build on that after a disappointing return in the first Test.

"I don't focus much on the rankings. If you perform well, you'll be ranked amongst the top cricketers, but if you don't perform, you are likely to lose your place in the ICC player rankings," Babar obliged.

Just like Babar, even Faheem Ashraf had a mediocre outing as the all-rounder was dismissed for a duck and his contribution with the ball wasn't too impressive either.

Defending Faheem Asraf, Babar said, "Faheem Ashraf is one of our best all-rounders at the moment. He has performed well against New Zealand, and his performance was good against South Africa too. You can't write him off because of one poor performance."