Australia lead the two-match series 1-0 after a domineering win in Brisbane and now the teams will be getting ready for the day-night Test in Adelaide on the 29th. Azhar Ali reflected on lopsided defeat against the mighty hosts.
Pakistan stumbled upon their opponents while they were in red-hot-form and were riding high on confidence after the Ashes win earlier this year.
Pakistan decided to bat first but the decision didn't prove very fruitful because Pakistan bundled out for 240 - not able to assert scoreboard pressure.
"In Australia, once you lag behind in a game, it's very hard to come back and you are often catching up, said Azhar.
Pakistan quicks weren't threatening with the new ball in the first innings as they couldn't halt the likes of David Warner and Joe Burns. By and large, Aussie batsmen cashed in on the width offered outside off stump and feasted on wayward lines.
"We weren't able to put pressure early on, control run-rate and couldn't pick wickets with the new ball.
Losing wickets in quick succession has been a recurring problem for Pakistan which culminates in losing control of a game. Azhar thought some of the dismissals could have been easily avoided.
"In the first innings, the first session was most difficult. We won the toss and thought that the first one or two hours will be tough and if we go through that [phase], this pitch will offer a lot of runs and it showed that. After lunch, we lost the whole session by losing five wickets almost in no time so that was a great setback for us in this Test match. In those dismissals, there were a lot of soft dismissals," Azhar explained.
Azhar thought it was a good batting strip as demonstrated by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan's defiant knocks. He lauded Warner and Marnus Labuschagne batting display and was of the opinion that his bowlers tried their heart out.
"I still feel our players kept fighting and the fight was visible in the batting as well. After 300 odd for just two wickets down, we kept fighting and fielders were supporting but unfortunately, Australia batsmen were well set. Labuschagne played a brilliant knock. Warner played a wonderful knock but I have to say, the way Babar [Azam] and Mohammad Rizwan batted, they showed that it was a good batting track.
Azhar, who got the captain's armband of late, has high hopes from his batting unit to deliver the goods in the upcoming pink-ball Test.
"We have full faith in our batting line-up. We will devise the strategy for the all-important match in Adelaide.
It has been an uphill struggle for most of the teams coming from Asia as they seldom manage to dominate Australia at their home and rarely enjoy resounding success. Azhar believes his bowling attack will rectify the mistakes quickly and learn from the tactical shortcomings.
"It is a young bowling attack; they have lots of potential but obviously you can't buy experience. Australia is never easy; they started off a little shaky but the came back strongly, even though Australia batsmen were set but they kept bowling in good areas after that and I have full belief that if they manage to do that from the start of the innings, they will be a totally different attack," added Azhar.
"We will reflect on this game and will make sure we go with the best XI in Adelaide.
Azhar urges media to be patient with the batsmen and not expect knee-jerk chopping and changing as he deems they have enough skills to put up a solid performance and he reminded everybody that one bad match isn't enough to point fingers.
"It's not [fair] to ask too many questions on batsmen and one bad inning doesn't make a player incapable. One Test match is not enough [to judge a batsman's abilities]. Every batsman is capable of making runs."
The skipper was ecstatic with wicket-keeper batsman Rizwan, who accumulated 95 off 145 deliveries and looked positive throughout his stay at the crease.
"Rizwan is a new addition to the Test side and he took on Australia with confidence."