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Wahab Riaz defends Azhar Ali’s slow strike-rate

Pakistan left arm pacer Wahab Riaz on Tuesday said that Melbourne-centurion Azhar Ali has his own areas where he scores runs and he doesn’t take offence from being called a slow scorer.

Azhar, who completed his 12th Test ton on day two of the second Test against Australia, is currently unbeaten on 139 off 287 balls a strike rate of 48.43. He needs only 20 runs to beat Majid Khan’s record of highest score by a Pakistani on Australian soil.

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“Everyone has his own opinion which could be right or wrong,” said Wahab. “Azhar has never taken offence over such comments. He knows what he is capable of and what his skills are. He has his own areas where he scores runs. If you look at his strike rate it is not that slow.”

He added: “So I think we should not bother about what people say. They have their own opinion. Azhar knows where he is good at, how he needs to score runs.”

Wahan also praised Azhar to be one of the most reliable and consistent batsman for Pakistan in the last five years.

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“Azhar is showing himself as one of the best batsmen Pakistan had,” said Wahab. “The way he has maintained an average of 46 in the last five years it shows he has scored consistently for Pakistan throughout his career. “I wish that he scores more runs and Pakistan continue to benefit from him. He is very determined and focused and always wants to deliver for Pakistan. That’s why his hard work is paying off.”

Pakistan have reached 310-6 with only 101 overs bowled in two days at the MCG and the questions about declaration were evident after the second day. Wahab said they were still 70-80 runs short of a good total however the decision rested in the hands of captain Misbahul Haq.

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“We are still into our first innings and there aren’t much runs on the board yet,” said Wahab. “We can’t ask Australia to bat straight away. There are still three days remaining in the match and we know that we have to take 20 wickets.”

He continued: “I am not sure how much we are going to need. It is the captain’s decision when to declare. Maybe we will look to score 70-80 more runs before putting Australia to bat and then we will try to get them out as cheaply as possible.”

Wahab Riaz was quoted by cricket.com.au

courtesy : Express Tribune

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