Hafeez slams Australia for Pakistan's warm-up game pitch, 'Maybe it's tactical' | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'Disappointment was really high...': Hafeez slams Australia for Pakistan's warm-up game pitch, 'Maybe it's tactical'

Dec 11, 2023 06:31 PM IST

Pakistan played a warm-up game against a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra ahead of their three-match Test series against Australia

Pakistan are set to take on Australia in a three-match Test series in the latter's home, with the first Test set to begin in Perth on December 14. The visitors have been in the country for the past two weeks and played a warm-up game against a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra.

Hafeez insisted that the slow pitch is not being used as an excuse by Pakistan and that they are ready for the series. (AFP)
Hafeez insisted that the slow pitch is not being used as an excuse by Pakistan and that they are ready for the series. (AFP)

Pakistan didn't have a very good outing in it individually, except for their new captain Shan Masood, who scored an unbeaten 201 off 298 balls. The next highest scorer after him were former captains Sarfaraz Ahmed and Babar Azam, who scored 41 and 40 runs respectively. Among the bowlers, Khurram Shahzad, Abdrar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf and Imam-ul-Haq took a wicket each.

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Pakistan's team director Mohammad Hafeez has now lashed out against Cricket Australia for the kind of pitch that was laid out during the match. "That was the slowest pitch a visiting team could ever play on in Australia," he told reporters. “As a team we are really happy with our preparations because we ticked most of the boxes.”

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‘We are ready for it’

Hafeez said that the team felt there was no point of raising the issue with Cricket Australia and even speculated if this was part of tactics from the home nation ahead of the series. “Everyone knew [the pitch wasn't what we wanted], so there was no point of saying it again and again and raising the issue with Cricket Australia. The disappointment was really high because we weren't expecting these kinds of arrangements. Maybe it's tactical but we're ready for it. We're not using it as an excuse, we're absolutely ready for the challenges coming up,” he said.

The match, which ended in a draw, was originally set to be a four-day game but only three days could be played due to a freak storm. Pakistan batted 116.2 overs and scored 391 for 9 before declaring. But on a noticeably slow surface, they toiled for 141 overs, managing just four wickets. It was also counted as a first class game, which meant that they could not try out their bench strength in the game and had to stick to their eleven.

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