Babar Azam has warned Pakistan against getting complacent after winning the first Test against South Africa. The right-handed batsman also talked about donning the captain’s hat for the first time in Test cricket and heaped praise on his teammates for backing him consistently.
Pakistan are 1-0 up in the two-match Test series, following their seven-wicket win in Karachi. However, Babar Azam is wary of South Africa’s strengths and said the job is only half done as the hosts are keen to win the series 2-0.
“I know the job is half done. We have to show the same spirit which was at display in the first Test. There should not be any complacency as South Africa are a tough opponent, having the ability to bounce back. So we need to keep up the pressure the way we did during the first Test in Karachi. There is a need to stay focused and play the best cricket to emerge 2-0 winners,” said Azam.
Babar Azam, who missed out on scoring big in the first Test as he was dismissed for 7 and 30 in the two innings, is eager to fare better against the Proteas in Rawalpindi.
“I am looking forward to contributing to the team’s cause in a big way. I have scored here before and would try to help the team stay ahead in this Test. I have succeeded in achieving all the goals that I have set for myself. I would continue to set challenges for me and would try to make my best efforts to achieve these,” added Babar Azam.
In this historic test match, Fawad, Faheem, Ajju bhai, Nauman and Yasir showed what #TeamPakistan roots for: determination, perseverance and hunger for excellence. Extremely proud of the fire of this team. On to the next one. #PAKvSA pic.twitter.com/wHVlgc32Ul
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) January 29, 2021
Following their win in Karachi, Pakistan leapfrogged South Africa into the fifth spot of the ICC World Test Championship standings. However, they are not in contention for a place in the final.
Babar Azam praised his teammates for making his job as a captain easier in the first Test. The 26-year-old explained that he fully enjoyed his new role in the longest format of the game in Karachi.
“You really enjoy captaincy once you feel everyone is on your back to help you in all respects. In the Karachi Test, every member of the squad backed me; consequently, I enjoyed my captaincy to the full,” said the Pakistan skipper.
The second and final Test of the series starts today in Rawalpindi.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 23, 2021