Unfair to criticise Azhar, Pakistan played really well: Atherton

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Islamabad

Former England cricketer Michael Atherton said it would be unfair to criticise the captaincy of Azhar Ali for Pakistan’s loss in the first Test against England saying the Green-shirts played really well, if you look at the entire game.
Atherton stated that Pakistan dominated the majority of the first Test and that was something which needs to be taken into account before criticising Azhar.
“The first thing to say would be how well Pakistan played for majority of the game. When you lose a game like that, a game which you are expected to win, it is easy to focus on the last bit of the game, which didn’t go well. But if you look at the entire game, Pakistan played really well,” said Atherton while talking to Sports Presenter Zainab Abbas as quoted by cricketpakistan.com.pk.
“So I would not discount that and if you are going to focus on Azhar Ali and the performance don’t forget that for majority of the game Pakistan played really well. That’s what I would be focusing on as a captain. If I was in Azhar Ali’s shoes, I would be focusing on all the good things that Pakistan did and not concentrate on the negative stuff at all,” he said.
He further stated that Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes played exceedingly well to take the game away from Pakistan. “I wouldn’t be too critical regarding Azhar’s captaincy because sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition as Buttler and Woakes played really well,” he said.
The 52-year-old was also surprised with the way Pakistan played despite little match practice. “If you think about the little match practice they had before coming into the game, they were at a disadvantage but I was pleasantly surprised by how well Pakistan played throughout that game,” he said.
The second Test between Pakistan and England would be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton from August 13-17.—APP

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