Azhar Ali pinpoints factor behind Pakistan's poor Test performances in Australia

Azhar highlighted the root cause of Pakistan’s drought in Australia

December 18, 2023
Azhar Ali - AFP

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has pinpointed the team's bowling performance as the primary factor behind their continuous struggle in Australia, emphasising that it is not the batting but the inability to bowl out Australia twice in a match that lies as the core issue.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News in Karachi, on the sidelines of President Trophy’s match, Azhar highlighted the root cause of Pakistan’s drought in Australia.

“There were matches, where batters had scored good runs but our bowlers were unable to bowl Australia out in those matches, it has been so long that Pakistani bowlers had bowled Australia out twice in a match, and this is where the problem is,” he said.

There are only two such incidents where Pakistani bowlers have taken 20 wickets against Australia in Australia – one in 1995 and the other in 2010.

“People would say that Pakistan was bowled out for 89 in Perth but I think by the time Pakistan’s inning started, the wicket had become very difficult with an uneven bounce, and knowing Australia’s attack, I think that collapse was not unexpected,” he said.

The former captain said that Pakistan can still make a comeback in the series but for that bowler will have to take the larger share of responsibility.

He highlighted the importance of getting Australia out under 300 if Pakistan wants to beat Australia.

“I have confidence that Pakistani batters can post scores around 450, 475 but it is important for Pakistan that the bowlers are able to bowl out Australia for not a bigger total,” he said.

Azhar Ali further said that Pakistan should have played one more specialist bowler instead of playing two all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Salman Agha.

“If you want to take wickets, then you must go with specialist bowlers,” Azhar said.

Azhar had earlier scored his 49th first-class century while playing the President Trophy match for SNGPL against Ghani Glass.

Talking about his cricket, Azhar says that he hasn’t been in much practice but was happy to score the century.

He has now set his eyes on scoring the 50th century in first-class cricket, however, Azhar has no plans to come out of retirement.  

Faizan Lakhani is Deputy Editor (Sports) at Geo News.