Sharjah - Pakistan are looking for the
right combination to win the third day-night international against England in
Sharjah on Tuesday, with skipper Azhar Ali admitting his team needs to improve.
Seeking a sixth bowler in the limited over
series, Pakistan have not been able to include opener Ahmed Shehzad in the
first two matches, with the score line reading 1-1.
Pakistan won the first encounter by six
wickets while England fought back to level the series with a 95-run win - both
matches in Abu Dhabi.
They may be forced to leave out leg-spinner
Yasir Shah who is nursing a knee injury and will be assessed before the match.
Azhar said Pakistan suffered multiple
problems and was forced to use 11 different opening combinations in the last 12
"Ideally, we want to have a set
opening pair but unfortunately in the last one year or so we had a lot of
injuries plus we had some problems with our all-rounders as well," said
Azhar on Monday.
"(Mohammad) Hafeez is not allowed to
bowl," said Azhar of the spinning all-rounder banned from bowling over
illegal action since July this year.
"Then we have injury to Imad
Wasim," said Azhar of the newcomer who was ruled out of the four-match
series with a hand injury.
"These things create problems in
picking the right combination and if there is a weak link in bowling then you
can struggle to control the flow of runs and I think that can damage the
combination of the team and you have to sacrifice a player to have a better
combination," said Azhar who backed his spinners.
"Yasir bowled well in the first
game," said Azhar of the spinner who took 15 wickets in Pakistan's
preceding 2-0 Test wins but managed 1-108 in two one-day matches.
"You bank on spinners in this part but
there was less support for the spinners in Abu Dhabi, the other thing is that sometimes
the other team also handles spinners well so there is no issue on their
abilities," said Azhar.
Azhar said Pakistan was better than it
number eight one-day rankings suggests.
"We are a better team than our
rankings suggest but for now we are focused on this series and we will take it
series by series and in future like to improve our rankings as well," said
If Shah is ruled out Pakistan can bring in
uncapped left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar who is also a useful batsman.