From our correspondent
HARARE: Aiming a clean sweep in the two-match Test series Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam on Thursday said that they would go with the winning combination with minor changes which may be made depending on the conditions and win the second Test against Zimbabwe in a solid way.
The second Test will begin here at the Harare Sports Club on Friday (tomorrow).
“We will try to carry our first test winning momentum into the second Test and will go with the winning combination,” Babar told a news conference here on Thursday.
Babar also announced a 13-member probables list for the second Test which will begin at 12: 30 pm. The list carries Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Nouman Ali, Sajid Khan, Tabish Khan and Haris Rauf.
Tabish, a veteran right-arm pacer, is expected to get a test cap which will be a dream come true following a two-decade hectic struggle during which he has played 137 first-class matches and has claimed 598 wickets through 27607 balls struggle.
“We have named Tabish in the 13-man probables list. We will check the pitch this evening and then will revisit it in the morning tomorrow after which we will go for finalising the playing XI. And yes he may get the chance if we see conditions suit him,” Babar said. He said that clean sweep would further instill confidence in the brigade as Pakistan would be going to the West Indies also.
Asked is Pakistan going to play its best side due to fear of defeat Babar said, “Its not the case.” “The issue is that we play Tests rarely and after a long time and so we want to try our settled line-up. It is not right that we do so due to fear of defeat. The room is open to one or two changes but it is not right to bring in four or five players at one stroke as this is not good for a good combination,” Babar said.
Babar said that Imam-ul-Haq would also be utilised in Test cricket, adding, currently they are focusing on young opening pair. Babar said in Test cricket opening pair’s role is more crucial. “Openers set the tone and stay out there to see the ball losing its shine. The rest of the batting group observes the opening pair, how they negotiate the behaviour of the pitch and tackle different balls. And the rest of the batsmen then plan according to this and come to know what is going out there,” Babar said.
Pakistan had defeated Zimbabwe by an innings and 116 runs in their first Test held here which ended inside three days.