LAHORE (APP): Pakistan cricket team captain, Sarfraz Ahmad has termed Asia Cup a new challenge for his team which is in good spirit to demonstrate a high level game to live up to the expectation in the mega event commencing from September 15 in United Arab Emirates.
“Asia Cup is a big and challenging event amid participation of top notch teams of Asia which are also ruling the world cricket and in the given circumstances that all the participating teams are equipped with best players it is going to a thrilling outing for us”,he told mediamen here at Gadaffi stadium.
“Considering Afghanistan and Hong Kong ‘weaker opponents’ will not be a fair thought and we have to put up good performance against every opponent, setting a side its low standing or might in the game”, he added. “The most important aspect is to create a winning momentum for the team and to maintain it till the final and it is only possible with collective efforts and team work”, he maintained.
“What is most important for us is to play positive cricket with a mind set to achieve excellence which we demonstrated in last edition of the Champions trophy and we need a similar approach as Champions trophy success is now a saga of past and we are at the threshold of a new event”.
He termed the match against India “very vital”,saying,”a higher display of quality cricket can be key to success against the arch rivals and to keep the hopes alive for qualifying for the final”. To a question,he said Pakistani team in batting and bowling are performing good and urged the fellow colleagues to go all out in the event by showcasing their individual talent in their respective departments of the game.
“Conditions are slow in UAE and spinners are likely to play a big role on such type of surface and batting under lights becomes difficult and we will be aiming to put up a score of over 300 runs to make things easy for our bowlers so that they should defend that total with their skillful bowling”, said the home captain.
Praising Pakistan pace battery, Pak captain described Muhammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Hasan as ‘match winning bowlers’ who have the potential to shatter world’s top batting order and to inspire their team to success. “It is not necessary that a bowler can only be effective if he has top pace in his bowling, a bowler with lesser pace but accurate swing,line and length can proved more lethal”,he said adding,”it is good omen for the team that Hasan has enhanced its pace”.
Answering a question, Sarfraz said the team has worked really hard in hot and humid weather during the training camp and it is in good shape to thwart tough challenges in the event. To a question,he said it seems that it is Virat Kohli’s own request to rest and not to participate in the event and the team management has given rest to the batsman at his own request.
He said veteran batsman, Muhammad Hafeez is a part of pool of players named for next year’s world cup and he can make a come back at a stage when team needs his services based on his experience. Sarfraz said wicketkeepers Muhammad Hasan and Muhammad Rizwan are his substitutes and both keepers who are part of Pakistan A team are being groomed at the national cricket academy.
“In a series of four to five test matches,the team needs an additional keeper but since my selection in the team we have played less number of test matches and that is why the need of a substitute keeper was not felt in the side. He made it clear that he will not be feeling threatened at a stage when it is needed to include another keeper in the team and he will make way for the keeper”. To a question in case of replacement of player during the Asia Cup, players of the Pak A team which is also touring UAE in the same dates, can be given consideration.