Aus vs Pak: Fakhar backs Babar to score big in Sydney Test

Pakistan will play the last Test of the three-match series from January 3

By Web Desk
January 01, 2024
Fakhar Zaman (L) is confident that Babar Azam (R) will score big in the Sydney Test. — AFP

Pakistan’s white-ball opener Fakhar Zaman backed Babar Azam to score big in the last Test of the three-match series against Australia which will be played at Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3 to 7.

Babar had his fair share of struggles in 2023 as the 29-year-old failed to score a half-century in red-ball cricket all year.

However, Fakhar believed that Babar is still playing well but the nation is used to seeing him score centuries in every match.

“Babar Azam has given us a bad habit by scoring centuries in every other match. He is currently scoring 40's in every match but not meeting his class. I'm hopeful for Babar to score a big innings in the Sydney Test,” Fakhar said.

The 33-year-old then addressed the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand where six openers have been selected. Fakhar believed having the competition within the squad was healthy.

"It is good to have six openers in Pakistan because healthy competition is good. I'm a specialist opener but the team management has given me a message to bat as one or two down on New Zealand tour,” he added.

The left-handed batter also praised Shaheen Shah Afridi who will lead the Green Shirts in the T20I series against New Zealand saying that he has leadership qualities.

"Shaheen Afridi did great captaincy of Lahore Qalandars. There is a big difference between captaincy in PSL and Pakistan Cricket Team but Shaheen does have capabilities of a good captain,” he said.

Remember, the Pakistan cricket team is currently in Australia to play a three-match Test series in the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle which will conclude on January 7.

Just five days after the conclusion of the Test series, Pakistan is scheduled to play their first T20I match against New Zealand on January 12.

Pakistan’s squad:

Shaheen Afridi (c), Aamir Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mojammad Wasim Jnr, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan.

Schedule of Pakistan’s 2024 tour to New Zealand

First match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 12 January, Auckland

Second match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 14 January, Hamilton

Third match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 17 January, Dunedin

Fourth match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 19 January, Christchurch

Fifth match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 21 January, Christchurch.