Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman plays a shot during his knock of 66 in the second innings of the second Test against Australia at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Stadium. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Debutant Fakhar Zaman, who scored a brilliant 94 in the first innings and followed it up with another impressive 66 in the second to put Pakistan in commanding position in the second Test, revealed that his poor showing in Asia Cup had nothing to do with his form, adding that he had always been ready for the Test call.

“The credit to take me in the Test squad goes to coach Mickey Arthur. He took me to England as well and told me we are taking you as an extra player. Mickey said, ‘We might not play you but I want to make you ready,” revealed Zaman adding he was bit ‘unlucky’ in Asia Cup.

“I was actually batting really well in the nets and was middling the ball nicely. I also played some bad shots, I feel, in [the] Asia Cup. I didn’t take time as I should have taken, considering the way the track was playing,” said Zaman, who also revealed that he was keen on returning home and playing domestic cricket after his ordinary performance at the Asia Cup which saw him score 56 in five matches including two ducks.

“I wanted to go and play domestic matches but Mickey insisted on me being there with the team here as well. Unfortunately Imam [Ul Haq] got injured and I got the chance.

“Also you have to understand that we all come up playing first-class matches and the work that we do at [the] National Cricket Academy is also keeping in mind the Tests. Mickey was working on my technique all the while to get me ready,” said Zaman, who also revealed that he doesn’t take an aggressive approach all the time as people think but instead plays according to the nature of the wicket.

“Whichever format you play, Test or ODI, a lot depends on which wicket you are playing the match on. Here it is a flat track and then it starts to break. I play according to the wicket, if it is suiting the batsmen, then I play my natural game and if it suits the bowlers, then I take my time to adjust and bat accordingly,” said the 28-year-old.

Speaking about his team’s showing, Australia’s Aaron Finch, who had the highest score (39) for his side, said it was a bit disappointing that they didn’t made the most of pitch which was bit home-like.

“Yeah, probably a bit. I think the way they came out and bowled this morning was really good. Mohammad Abbas didn’t miss the stumps too often. He always bowls a good length, so it’s up to us to try and negate that, especially in the second dig, and come up with some really good plans against him,” Finch said.

“He’s bowled well in the last couple of innings against us. I don’t think it’s the amount of seam or anything like that. I think it was just some really good bowling.”

Finch added that he wouldn’t say the mood in the camp had been ‘deflated’ with three more days of cricket remaining.

“There was obviously a bit of feeling that we let them off the hook a little bit yesterday. The way that Zaman and Sarfraz batted obviously very positive against us and tried to change the momentum of the game that way was great by them. Today they just had the better of us. We seemed to be losing those one-hour periods that seemed to be a big collapse. If we can limit that to one wicket and then start building a partnership, I think we can start chipping away longer and longer,” said Finch.

“It was a disappointing couple of days but the camp’s still positive. We managed to hold on and scrap for a brilliant draw in the first Test so we see still two results on the board tomorrow.”