Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed returned to Test cricket after almost four years in the Karachi Test against New Zealand. Many questions were raised about his selection and interim chief selector Shahid Afridi was criticized. But Sarfaraz proved himself with a splendid half-century. After losing early wickets, the Pakistani team made a great comeback and scored 317/5 at the end of the day’s play. Team captain Babar Azam was frozen at the crease after scoring 161 runs on Day 1.
Sarfaraz played a brilliant inning of 86 runs off 153 balls. He handled the team along with captain Babar. Chief selector Afridi praised Sarfaraz Ahmed after seeing his magnificent comeback in Test cricket.
Taking to Twitter, the former player wrote, “Pleased with Pakistan’s performance today, great comeback after the early loss of wickets. Special praise for Babar for another outstanding innings. Sarfaraz proved his selection right, excellent performance for him under pressure.”
Pleased with Pakistan's performance today, great comeback after the early loss of wickets. Special praise for Babar for another outstanding innings. Sarfaraz proved his selection right, excellent performance for him under pressure.— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 26, 2022
Pakistan lost three wickets early for just 48 runs. Somehow they managed to build a partnership but the team’s fourth wicket fell for 110 runs. After this, Babar along with Sarfaraz Ahmed brought the team to a strong position. Both shared a 196-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Babar remained unbeaten on 161 runs till the end of the day’s play. Ejaz Patel and Michael Bracewell took 2-2 wickets for New Zealand.
Babar gave me a lot of confidence: Sarfaraz Ahmed
The former captain got the chance after Mohammad Rizwan was given a rest for the first Test against New Zealand. Sarfaraz made full use of the opportunity given to him, he also talked about his knock after Day 1 was finished.
“You asked me about my feelings when I walked out to bat before lunch. If someone would have checked my heartbeat, the meter would have exploded”, he said.
“Heartbeat was very fast and it felt like my debut. I was playing after a long time and it was also a crunch situation. During lunch, people who have played with me in the past asked me to relax. I told them about my heartbeat which was very fast. When I walked back in, Babar gave me a lot of confidence. As a senior player, the way he carried me along – I needed a bit of confidence. When you play a match on the comeback, it feels like the first time. Babar gave me confidence and Allah takes care of me”, he further added.
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