Islamabad, Apr 11: Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali feels if every player in the team plays fearless cricket claiming number one spot in Tests is achievable.
Azhar was part of the team that, under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq, rose to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings in 2016. "We can’t be a No 1 Test team if we win only the home series. We need to produce extraordinary results in the away series as well," he was quoted as saying in The Nation. "In home series, we have to outclass the opponents convincingly ... If every player plays fearless cricket, shoulders his responsibility and gives a consistent performance, no one can stop us from achieving our goal." Azhar admitted that he and Misbah both came from a defensive mindset, but insisted that was a function of conditions. "I bat with composure and I take time, that does not mean I am a defensive captain," he explained. "In Dubai, if a fast bowler is bowling, you can’t keep four slips. In Pakistan also, where conditions are flat, you have to have balance. “I am trying to get rid of the fear factor. They should play with a free mind. That team culture needs to be developed. Every player should think about the team and there should be a relaxed atmosphere. You cannot perform under pressure and with level-headed approach, consistency will come. It will also help in decision-making." (UNI)