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Azhar Ali thinks managing over rates will be a challenge

Pakistan Test skipper Azhar Ali said that managing over rates will be a challenge with the new rules in place for COVID-19 times, but hopes it can be overcome soon.

Pakistan experienced this challenge during their inter-squad practice match on July 5 and 6 in Worcester.

“There are some areas where we have to adapt,” Azhar said. “In this weather, it was only the fast bowlers who sweated so it was a challenge for us to shine the ball. But, that’s something which will change as the weather continues to get warm.

“The most challenging thing, however, was that the bowlers had to put their sweaters and caps outside the boundary rope because of which managing the over rate was getting a bit difficult. Especially in Yasir Shah’s case, he fields in the circle but had to go all the way to the boundary to put his things. But, I am comfortable that we will adapt to these changes as we still have a two-day and two four-day matches to play and they will help us.”

“Both batsmen and bowlers have adapted to the conditions,” he pointed out. “The wind was troubling the bowlers initially but they overcame it, which was heartening. Definitely, the players are going to need some time to adjust. Despite the break, they are in good shape which is a positive sign for us.”

Azhar praised the likes of Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq.

“All the batsmen batted quite well especially Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq and Abid Ali seemed in total control,” he said, “Shan Masood adapted well to the conditions and Mohammad Rizwan looked in good shape.

“Mohammad Abbas is our experienced bowler and his presence is of advantage for us as he also keeps guiding the youngsters. He is someone who can be a very important member of the attack for us. Naseem Shah bowled very well in the scenario-based match. He will attain more control as he continues to bowl.”

Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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