Karachi:Pakistan opening batsman Sami Aslam, who had managed modest runs of 22 and 15 in the opening day and night Test at the Gabba, revealed that his side are brimming with confidence heading into the second match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on December 26. Although the visiting side lost the opening Test by 39 runs to go 0-1 down in the three-match series, they received a flurry of admiration for their dogged fourth-innings chase. Chasing a world-record target of 490 runs to win, Pakistan’s ninth-wicket partnership between `Man of the match` Asad Shafiq (137) and Yasir Shah (33) raised hopes in the Misbah-ul-Haq-led camp which were soon shattered as the centurion fell prey to a brilliant bouncer by Mitchell Starc.
Aslam admitted that his side’s fourth innings resurgence had instilled a lot of confidence in the team and that they are now determined to put up an even better performance in the remaining matches. “Due to the last innings rearguard where we scored 450, there is a lot of confidence in the team that we can really perform well in these conditions and all players are determined going into the Melbourne Test,” Aslam was quoted as saying by the Dawn. The 21-year-old also stressed that he could sense Australia had panicked in the field on that final day in Brisbane when the visitors closed in on what would have been a world-record chase.
“They [Australia] were really confident that they would win easily. But everyone panicked when we [got] so close to that figure of 490 which was a very big total,” he said. Talking about his preparation for the upcoming match, Aslam said he is ready to better handle Australia’s pace attack led by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood and put up big score in the Boxing Day Test. Aslam further insisted that he had learned a lot from the first Test and is now looking forward to overcome his mistakes ahead of the remaining matches. “I have many hundreds in first-class cricket and international under-19 cricket as well. I don’t think there is a problem … when I get into the 90s. One or two times I was unlucky and one or two times I played a bad shot. I am really confident I score big next time,” he insisted.
Pakistan, who have to must win the Melbourne Test, are aiming to become the first Asian side to win a series Down Under.
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