Dubai: Pakistan are on the verge of removing the tag of being an ‘unpredictable’ team across all formats after defeating New Zealand in the second match of the three-match T20 International series by six wickets on Friday night.
Recording their 11th successive series victory, skipper Sarfraz Ahmad and his boys have proved to be the most successful and consistent team in this format.
“All the achievements are thanks to the effort of the boys. We have a good balanced team,” he said after his team’s eighth consecutive T20 match win. His team also proved to be brilliant chasers after having never lost batting second in 11 T20 Internationals.
Sarfraz is proud of his team, which may go on to inflict a second successive clean sweep over their opponents if they win Sunday’s final match of the series at the Dubai International stadium. Only last week, they inflicted a clean 3-0 sweep over Australia.
“We have a batting line-up with Hasan Ali at No. 10. We know we can get 150 to 160 runs. If we start well and if we don’t let too many dot balls in the middle, we have the experience of (Mohammad) Hafeez and Shoaib Malek (in the middle) as well.”
Sarfraz is proud over the fact that his team is establishing themselves as an unbeatable team and is at the top of ICC ranking as the No. 1 team. “My boys know well how to play this game. And they’re learning day by day too. Whether it’s Babar (Azam) or Fakhar (Zaman) or Faheem (Ashraf), they know where to field in the last overs. They know how to bat in the last overs. I don’t need to do anything.”
Sarfraz went on to hail the selectors for picking the right players for the task, said: “We pick players in form from domestic cricket, that’s how we brought Hafeez back and he’s been doing very well as well. Babar is in great form as opener. Asif Ali we asked to bat at No. 3 is because he’s a good hitter and we don’t want him to play spin when he comes out to bat. So we’ve pushed him up the order so gets enough time before cutting loose. Down the order he does not get time and we feel if he gets in, he can play the big shots at ease. He is now playing very well.”
Sarfraz said that despite the talent, a lot of planning goes into winning matches. “We discuss our plans and execute it. I am proud of my bowlers too who bowl according to our plan.”
Eighteen-year-old Shaheen Afridi, who bagged the Man of the Match in Friday’s win over New Zealand, wants to produce more match winning performances. “I am trying to perform for Pakistan in every game. Our coaching staff has helped me a lot, especially, Azhar Mahmood. I am bowling my yorkers very well now. I figure out the weak zones of a batsman and bowl accordingly. I do what is asked of me. I want to serve Pakistan for a long time.”