Abdullah Shafiq has started his career in a spectacular fashion. With an unbeaten 160 in his sixth Test, he won the player of the match award and helped Pakistan achieve the highest successful target in Galle. He has reached the list of world’s greatest batsmen by scoring 720 runs in his first 11 innings. His captain Babar Azam has also been very impressed with his game. Babar feels that Shafiq can become the best batsman in the world.
Shafiq’s scintillating innings made headlines, in which he broke many records. In his short Test career so far, he has scored 720 runs at an average of 80, the most by any Pakistani batsman after six matches. It is hard to believe that he made his Test debut in Bangladesh nine months ago after playing only one first-class match.
After winning the Galle Test, Babar said, “As a young player, you have to perform well in different and difficult situations. He has shown class, maturity and confidence. It is his responsibility to face Sri Lankan bowling that is sweeping Australia to the ground.” Will give more confidence. His style of play is very clear, which shows that more such centuries will come. Even though he has played only six matches so far and it is too early to say that he is the best opener in the world at the moment, but I Looks like he can be the best player in the world too.”
The first three days of the Test match were mixed and the match turned exciting. However, the Pakistani batsmen batted cautiously on a pitch helpful for spin and put the team in a strong position on the fourth day. On the final day, the visiting team needed 120 runs to win, from which they must have breathed a sigh of relief. However, the bad memories of the 2009 Test must have been fresh in his mind when the team was bowled out before the target with 97 runs required with eight wickets to spare.
Galle’s history and a massive target of 342 may have dented Pakistan’s spirits but according to Babar, the team was ready to chase the target. He told that the team had practiced fiercely for the spinning pitch.
Babar said, “We know that the spinners will be helped in Galle and so we prepared keeping the pitch in mind. At the end of the match, the ball spins with more bounce and that was what we had in mind when we went for it. Were practicing. That’s why we got this result.”
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On the selection of three fast bowlers on a pitch where Pakistan spinners bowled 74 out of 100 overs in the second innings, Babar said he would assess the strategy for the next match. Although saying so, he supported his fast bowlers. He said, “Pakistan has produced many fast bowlers who have won matches even on flat pitches. We will discuss the team composition before the next match. Every match has good and bad things and you want to keep the good things in mind. At the same time, you want to work on mistakes and learn from them.”
After losing seven early wickets in the first innings, the captain scored crucial runs with the lower order and brought the team very close to Sri Lanka’s score in the first innings. On the experience of scoring a century batting down the order, Babar said, “It’s a wonderful innings because the team needed me. Scoring runs in tough conditions and getting something out of it gives a lot of confidence and satisfaction. I take it at my best.” I would say one of the innings because wickets were falling and it is more difficult to bat with the lower order. You have to take care at the other end and guide them as well as you have to score your runs. On the open field I am very happy to find ways to score runs and execute my plan.”