The Champions Trophy victory changed a lot in Pakistan cricket as it brought a certain amount of stability in the white ball team, feels skipper Sarfraz Ahmed. Pakistan has been playing well for the past one year and Sarfraz attributes it to a discussion he had with the chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq.
“I was made the captain before the Champions Trophy and we had a very young team. My job was to give confidence to the young players and the way we won the tournament was a big boost,” Sarfraz said at the captains’ press meet ahead of the Asia Cup starting Saturday.
Asia Cup Gives us Chance to Get Combination Right Before WC 2019, Says Rohit Sharma
“After that Champions Trophy, I met the chief selector (Inzamam) and told him that we don’t want too many changes in the team and that’s how the stability came about. We have got some brilliant young players like Fakhar Zaman, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, who are all improving day by day. Our ODI performance improved once the youngsters came into the system,” said Sarfraz.
For the soft-spoken Pakistan captain, the World Cup is far away and Asia Cup is one of the steps ahead going into the marquee event next year.
“Pakistan have a packed calendar going into the World Cup but just like Rohit (Sharma) said we would also like to focus on the Asia Cup for the time being. Then we have the Australia series. We will take it series by series so that when we reach World Cup, we have a fair idea as to where our team stands,” he said.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was asked about the acrimonious incidents between the players of his side and the Bangladesh team earlier this year during the Nidahas T20 tournament and he brushed it aside.
“Past is past. Now focus will be on playing good cricket. In this tournament, even if you lose one game, you can just be out of the tournament. So we need to focus on each match. As far as World Cup is concerned, it’s too far away and we are not exactly thinking about it right now,” said Mathews.
Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath said that his team is hungry and wants to keep trying and improving against some of the best sides in world cricket.
(With PTI Inputs)