Azhar is beneath stress after making solely 38 in his three innings towards Joe Root’s facet to date, whereas Shafiq has solely three extra runs to his identify from a defeat within the opening Test and a weather-hit draw on the Rose Bowl.
The vacationers should win the third and closing match, which begins on Friday, to keep away from their first sequence loss in England for a decade within the longest format.
Azhar is conscious that he, together with Shafiq, must ship in Southampton, although the skipper stated he retains the backing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
He stated: “Being a captain, it’s my accountability to attain runs. Asad Shafiq has been a match-winner and the most effective gamers now we have obtained.
“He has at all times scored runs beneath stress. As senior batsmen, we each have to step up and make a contribution for Pakistan within the third Test.
“We have such a superb bunch of fellows with us. They make my job as captain very easy. I’ve the total backing of the PCB as captain.
“Right now, my total focus is on the third Test match and never fascinated with the criticism from exterior.”
Azhar is backing younger pacemen Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi to ship, too.
“We are fortunate to have thrilling quick bowlers. Although they’re younger when it comes to age, they’re thrilling characters,” he stated.
“You cannot purchase expertise with out enjoying, so now we have to again them [Naseem and Shaheen] as a result of they’re bowling very well and placing opposition beneath stress.
“You can’t sit outside and gain experience. These guys have taken up the challenge and impressed everyone around the world, so I still feel they are good enough to win Test matches for Pakistan.”
Azhar stated Pakistan would assess the pitch earlier than naming their facet after latest poor climate on the south coast.
Meanwhile, former internationals Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq are amongst a bunch of former gamers who’ve taken up teaching roles with the PCB.
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