Zimbabwe series aided our preparations for Asia Cup: Sarfraz Ahmed

July 24, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes that the clean sweep over Zimbabwe puts his side in good stead ahead of the Asia Cup in September.

Speaking after the conclusion of the ODI series against Zimbabwe, Sarfraz said that the series aided the team’s preparations for the Asia Cup as the side learnt a lot during the tour. “We were keen to use this series as preparation for Asia Cup and we learnt a lot here,” Sarfraz said. “Zimbabwe team is not the same as it was in the past but it’s not our fault to be playing against a young team.”

Sarfraz praised the team’s performance and their ability to stay focused throughout the series but he also mentioned that a whitewash over the home side was not something they were thinking about.

“We took each match one by one and the credit goes to the players as they were focused and didn’t take Zimbabwe lightly,” he said. “We weren’t thinking about whitewash. It was a combined team effort and everyone stepped up and performed.”

Sarfraz was satisfied to see the batsmen making the most of a good start and converting them into something substantial— a recurring theme in the batting department for the Men in Green over the course of the five-match series. Openers Fakhar Zaman and Imamul Haq were in red-hot form throughout the ODI series with both of them scoring 515 and 395 runs in the series respectively.

“We tell our batsmen to bat for a longer period of time once they are set and have played for 10-12 overs,” he said. “We encourage them, especially Zaman and Imam, to bat till the 40 over mark.”

Despite the middle and lower order batsmen getting little chance to bat, Sarfraz was pleased with the way young players performed.

“Everyone wanted to bat but myself and Shoaib Malik didn’t get much of a chance but we’re happy to see our young players performing especially Zaman and Imam,” he said. Agencies