Babar Azam after Rawalpindi Test defeat: My input was taken but didn’t get the pitch I wanted

Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Monday said that the curator at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium took his inputs but never provided the track he had asked for as the host lost the first Test against England by 74 runs.

England had made a sporting declaration, leaving Pakistan with a target of 343 in over 100 overs but the home team was all out for 268 on the final day.

The pitch had been panned by one and all after England scored in excess of 500 on the first day and seven centuries were scored across the first two innings.

“Yes, my input was there in the preparation of the pitch and we made it clear what we wanted but we didn’t get that because of the weather or whatever reason. But we wanted a track with some turn for the spinners,” Babar told a post match conference on Monday.

The Pakistan skipper also gave credit to England for continuing to play with the same positive intent but also mildly criticised his bowlers for being wayward.

“We were expecting they would continue to play like that against us. I think it becomes difficult for a captain when your bowlers are not hitting the right areas and runs are being scored both sides of the wicket. But full credit to them the way they batted in both innings,” he said.

“It is never easy to comeback after the opposition scores 500 on the first day but I thought we batted well and came close to their total but in the second innings our batters didn’t live up to the responsibility,” he said.

Babar had no hesitations in admitting that it was disappointing to let go of such an opportunity to win a Test match.

“I thought we were very much in the match till after Lunch today to win the match. Unfortunately we lost back-to-back wickets and that didn’t help. But Anderson and Robinson bowled outstandingly well.”

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