Azhar is underneath strain after making solely 38 in his three innings in opposition to Joe Root’s facet thus far, 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 remaining match, which begins on Friday, to keep away from their first collection 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 among the best gamers we have now received.
“He has at all times scored runs underneath strain. As senior batsmen, we each must step up and make a contribution for Pakistan within the third Test.
“We have such a very good 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 enthusiastic about 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 we have now to again them [Naseem and Shaheen] as a result of they’re bowling rather well and placing opposition underneath strain.
“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 number of former gamers who’ve taken up teaching roles with the PCB.
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