Babar Azam urges Pakistan to seize momentum taken from strong finish in Karachi as captain readies his side for winner-takes-all final Test – and Australia captain Pat Cummins is braced for ANOTHER batter-friendly wicket
- Pakistan and Australia are braced for a winner-take-all third and final Test
- The hosts rescued a draw from the jaws of defeat in the match at Karachi
- Pakistan captain Babar Azam scored a masterful 196 to frustrate Australia
- Azam says his side have their tails up owing to their strong finish to the game
- Aussie captain Pat Cummins is not expecting a dramatic change in the pitch
Pakistan and Australia head into a winner-take-all third and final test from Monday as test cricket returns to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium for the first time since the 2009 attack by gunmen on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Top teams have largely shunned Pakistan since the attack that killed six policemen and two civilians with Australia visiting the country for the first time in 24 years.
The test will also be a first for Pakistan captain Babar Azam in his home city.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has urged his side to seize their momentum taken from Karachi
The hosts rescued a draw from the jaws of defeat after being set a mammoth 506 last week
‘It’s a different feeling to play in front of a home crowd, at my home ground. I can’t explain this feeling,’ Babar told reporters on Sunday, adding that it will be a proud moment for the country and his team if they can win the series.
While Australia named an unchanged side from the one that failed to clinch a win in Karachi, Pakistan will take a call after taking a final look at the wicket.
Babar’s epic 196 and Mohammad Rizwan’s gallant century helped the hosts snatch draw from the jaws of defeat in the second test in Karachi after the opening match also ended in a stalemate in Rawalpindi.
‘We took a lot of confidence from the way the team played the last test,’ Babar said.
Azam scored a sensational 196 runs and wants to inspire his side in the third and final Test
Australia captain Pat Cummins is expecting another batter-friendly wicket in Lahore
‘We will take that confidence into the final test and we will be playing to win, that will be our mindset.’
With batters dominating the series so far, the Pakistan Cricket Board hired Toby Lumsden, the former curator of the International Cricket Council academy, to oversee the preparations of the pitch for Lahore.
Both Babar and his Australian counterpart Pat Cummins said they did not expect the Gaddafi Stadium pitch to be much different from the first two tests.
‘There’s not a lot of grass on it,’ Cummins said. ‘I think it’s had quite a lot of traffic throughout the PSL (Pakistan Super League) on it as well.
‘It seems hard, but I can’t see it being too much different from the other ones.’