Sports

Playing in New Zealand is never easy but we’ll do well this time: Azhar

Pakistan opener Azhar Ali has admitted that the upcoming tour of New Zealand will not be easy as according to him the Kiwis always perform well in their own backyard, but he still backed the men in green to hold their own.
“It will not be easy,” Azhar, who was named in the ODI squad following a spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury.
“The Kiwis always perform well on home ground, but ours is a decent unit and our performances in the last six months are there for all to see.”
Even though Pakistan lost both the ODI (2-0) and T20I (2-1) series when they visited New Zealand during the 2015-16 season, Azhar feels that encounter was much closer than the final scoreline suggests.
“Even during our last tour we almost managed to win two matches there,” he reminded.
Azhar vowed to help the team out in any way he can, saying: “I’ll try and play the way the team wants me to and according to the situation. It’s our job to do what the team wants. I am very focused.”
The former 50-over skipper also offered an update on his health. “I am feeling well after the rehabilitation process.”
Before Sarfraz Ahmed assumed ODI team’s captaincy earlier this year, it was Azhar who led the side. But the disastrous tour of Australia forced him to resign from his position.
Since then, the same team has flourished under Sarfraz, and Azhar couldn’t be happier for his successor.
“Sarfraz is captaining the side very well,” he said.
Azhar also seemed to back veteran pacer Mohammad Asif for a comeback to the national fold, saying: “Asif has a lot of experience. He may not have the same pace but there is still a lot of variation in his repertoire.”