Sun, 04 Dec 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 20 (ANI): The form of Imam-ul-Haq over during five Tests will be pivotal for Pakistan and the opener is hoping his side can pick up at least three victories on home soil.

Pakistan have advanced forward quickly to put the disappointment of losing the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final behind them by attempting to qualify for next year's World Test Championship final.

Babar Azam's team is now focused on the forthcoming Test series at home against England and New Zealand after coming agonisingly close to winning a second T20 World Cup championship after they were upset by England at the MCG earlier this month by five wickets.

With a victory percentage of 51.85, Pakistan is currently in fifth place in the World Test Championship standings, but a string of wins at home over the next two months might put them in the running for a top-two finish and a spot in the championship game the following year.

Before playing two matches against New Zealand at the end of December and into January that will be essential to their prospects of securing a spot in next year's championship at The Oval, Pakistan will first play a three-Test series against England next month.

"Due to the World Test Championship, the series against England and New Zealand is important for us. We can stay in the race for the final by winning three or four matches during the upcoming series," ICC quoted Imam-ul-Haq as saying.

Many of Imam's teammates play for Pakistan's T20 team and recently competed in the T20 World Cup in Australia, but the 26-year-old has been preoccupied with practising for the upcoming Test matches by competing in Pakistan's domestic red-ball league.

"I'm trying to maintain my form by playing domestic cricket. Test cricket usually happens after a long gap which is why we have to prepare for it from scratch every time," he added.

The series against England will be the first against an English side on Pakistan soil since 2005 and Imam is eagerly awaiting the opportunity.

"I like playing Test matches on home soil as compared to ODIs and T20Is. I'm happy to see that England and New Zealand are sending their full-strength teams to Pakistan. Top teams visiting Pakistan is good for our cricket," Imam said. (ANI)

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