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Sports

1st Test: Depleted Pakistan promise 'tough time' to Australia

  • Captain Babar Azam remains confident despite missing some key players
Published March 3, 2022
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan are determined to give Australia a "tough time" in the opening Test in Rawalpindi, despite losing three players to injuries and ailment, home captain Babar Azam said on Thursday.

Fast bowler Hasan Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf were ruled out of the series opener with injuries suffered during the Pakistan Super League (PSL), while seamer Haris Rauf will sit out, having tested positive for COVID-19.

"It did disturb our combination, especially injuries to Faheem and Hasan," Babar told a virtual news conference on the eve of the match.

"Faheem contributes both with ball and bat and Hasan is one of the top bowlers, a proven match-winner.

"Australia is one of the best sides, we can't take it easy against them.

"We did well against Bangladesh. In this series too, we will do well and give them a tough time. Fans can expect quality cricket from us."

Most of the players are fresh from participating in the PSL but Babar insisted shifting from Twenty20 to Test mode would not be a problem for his team mates.

"As professionals, it should not be difficult for a player. It's all about mindset.

"Even when playing in the PSL, the players trained extra for the Test series."

Pakistan have added fast bowler Naseem Shah into their pace attack led by Shaheen Afridi.

"Australia are here after 24 years, we're very excited," Babar said.

"We prepared well and we are in good shape. We will try to make the most of our home conditions and get the best of our available players."

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