Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed proved his worth in Pakistan’s Test setup as the wicketkeeper batter won the Player of the Series award against New Zealand. Ahmed scored three half-centuries and a century in the four innings he played against the Kiwis and it was the 35-year-old who saved Pakistan from losing the second Test. Ahmed stood tall when Pakistan lost five early wickets in the chase of 319 and formed a partnership with Saud Shakeel to bail the team out of trouble.
The batter then went on to score his fourth Test century. Ahmed amassed 335 runs in four innings at an average of 83.75 and was the leading scorer in the series. With Ahmed reigning supreme for Pakistan, many experts questioned the team management’s decision to keep the batter out of the Test setup for years. Babar Azam was also asked the same question during a press conference and the Pakistan captain tried to didge it off at first. However, when asked again, Azam had a straightforward answer ready.
“I have said this in earlier press conferences too that the way Sarfaraz Ahmed has waited, did not lose his courage, did his training, wicketkeeping, batting with full dedication, he waited and executed his plans. The way he batted in difficult situations and got the team out of tough situations. That’s the sign of a senior player and such players get you out of difficult times with different innings, it was a dream comeback for him,” said Azam in reply to the question. “No, I don’t have any regrets,” he added.
Coming to Pakistan’s Test series against New Zealand, the Babar Azam-led team could not win any of the two Tests. They were even on the brink of losing the second Test. Notably, Pakistan failed to win a single Test at home in the WTC 2021-23 cycle.