Azhar Ali annoyed by perception of defensive captaincy

Azhar Ali annoyed by perception of defensive captaincy

Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali has said opened up on the general perception regarding his captaincy, which is often touted as being on the defensive side by the critics.

While speaking to media, on Thursday, during a teleconference, the Ali said that such an opinion leaves him frustrated because a captain is as good as the team.

"It is hard to change perception. Very soon we come to a conclusion and stick to it," said Azhar."I bat with composure and I take time that does not mean I am a defensive captain. During Misbah’s captaincy, as well, I also used to get annoyed over such a narrative.”  

“If you see greatest captains and see teams...90s Australia and early 2000s they had bowlers who used to set fields themselves. They were so good. It is easier to do attacking captaincy with such a team. In Dubai, fast bowler is bowling you can't keep four slips. In Pakistan also where conditions are flat you have to have balance," the 35-year old added.

Azhar also spoke about his long term goals as far as leading the side in Test cricket was concerned.

"I am trying to get rid of the fear factor. They should play in free mind. That team culture needs to be developed. Every player should think about the team and there should be a relaxed atmosphere. You cannot perform under pressure and in level-headed approach, consistency will come. It will also help in decision making," he said.

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The right-handed top-order batsman also maintained his stance regarding return of tainted cricketers in the national side.

“My stance on this has not changed. It is still the same as before and I don’t want to talk add anything to that,” he said.  

It must be noted that in December 2015, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Shaharyar Khan, had refused to accept Ali’s resignation as ODI captain over the inclusion of the former spot-fixer Mohammad Amir in the training camp.

Just before that, Ali and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez had stayed away from the camp after Amir was called up, but after meeting with Khan both decided to join up again.