Pakistan hitters must step up and take more responsibility. That was the brief and sharp message that their captain Sarfraz Ahmed had for them before the first of the two Tests against Australia in the UAE.
It can also be taken as a timeless message, appropriate for almost any time in the history of Pakistan. but it could have a greater resonance at this time, when they are still struggling to fill some powerful gaps.
It's been a couple of good days after MisYou; the first time they hit, in Abu Dhabi last year; and a batting performance absent in difficult conditions as they have achieved in years in Lord & # 39; s. In and around those, however, there have been some days of fear; the last day in Abu Dhabi; everything from Leeds; even Malahide had his moments of appearance.
And although it seems that the inexperienced and naive Australian hitters against the Pakistani turn is the defining narrative of this series, it could well focus on how a much improved Nathan Lyon goes against a batting order without two of his greatest torturers four years ago.
Younis and Misbah swept Lyon with irrelevance, its three windows cost 140.66, its 110 surplus yields almost at four. But in India and Bangladesh, Lyon has expanded its range and Pakistan, never as good against the effect as the stereotype had, a little less good now.
"We played against Nathan Lyon in 2014, and at this moment we see that He is a different bowler," acknowledged Sarfraz. "He has a lot of ground in Asia, so we have a plan in the batting and we hope to run well against him in the game."
However, none of the other wider batting problems is unknown. There is still no established opening pair, since Mohammad Hafeez is back, as a kind of field-horse opener, I should tell you that. Azhar Ali has dropped a bit from his 2016 car. Asad Shafiq has not taken a decisive step.
"The hitters must take responsibility," said Sarfraz. "In the past, our hitters have always scored the runs and put the team in strong positions, now our batters have not been able to convert their starts.
" Hopefully, they can do it in this series. Our hitters have really worked hard in practice sessions. When we have the chance, with luck we can get a great score. "
It should be considered within the scope of that edict It has been a while since he played the type of tickets to break the game that prepared him for leadership. a time since he scored any kind of races, only three of the fifty in his last 14 innings, and one in nine innings as a test captain.
Since the races are the real coin for a Pakistani captain (Misbah- ul- Haq, on the other hand, had seven years fifty in his first nine innings as a test captain), it has been a difficult year for Sarfraz.
"That was my first series of tests last year. I've learned a lot this year, obviously. Last year we made some mistakes for which we suffer. But now we have learned from them and my goal is to make the team move forward. Our first goal is to have a good performance in these two test matches and win the series. "