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Pakistan to go for the clean sweep in one-day series

Skipper Sarfraz calls Azam a ‘star in the making’

Image Credit: AFP
Pakistan’s Babar Azam won the man of the match award for his fighting 69 not out against Sri Lanka in the fourth one-dayer at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Gulf News

Sharjah: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmad said that his players have understood their individual roles in order to help the team keep winning matches.

Talking about his team and future plans after trouncing Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the fourth one-dayer of the series for their fourth successive victory, Sarfraz said: “Players have understood their roles perfectly and that makes the role of a captain easier. I think we have a good momentum going in and all are performing well.”

When asked about the comeback from a defeat in the Test series to inflicting a clean sweep on Sri Lanka in the one-dayers, Safraz said: “Our Test team was inexperienced, and that was evident from our performance and we didn’t bat and bowl well. The ODI team is very good and has been playing the same combination for a long time since I became the captain. Our bowling has been doing well, everyone has played his role. Whenever batsmen get a chance they deliver and fielding is also good. It’s teamwork and that’s why we are winning. Now that we have done 4-0, we will make it 5-0 in the last match in Abu Dhabi on Monday.”

To a query whether his team’s bowling is the world’s best, Safraz said: “You can say that about the way the bowlers are performing since Champions Trophy. We bowled teams out for 240 and 230 and then chased them down well. In this series too, we are bowling well and chasing well. We should praise the bowlers, especially the way Hasan Ali has been bowling and improving each day. He is now the world No. 1, so I wish he maintains the same level and does well to win us more matches.

“Shadab (Khan) is doing well, whoever we have introduced like Usman Khan Shinwari, Faheem (Ashraf), Rumman (Raees) and Junaid Khan are performing. Most importantly, our bench is getting strong.”

Sarfraz feels that his selectors have played a big role in the team’s success. “I will first give selectors the credit, they chose good players and our effort is that whoever we play we should give them confidence and ask them to treat it like domestic matches. The best thing is that they are playing with confidence and whoever plays creates an impact. We have two seniors and they are playing their roles and whenever they get a chance, they motivate the players and contribute. We are a good team of seniors and juniors.”

When Sarfraz was asked if Babar Azam could be the next Javed Miandad, he said: “Babar Azam is a star in the making. Hopefully if he will continue to play like this, he will one day go on to become one of the legends of Pakistan cricket.”

Azam, who won the Man of the Match, feels that his success is due his focus. “My focus is always on for every match and I want to give hundred per cent. The longer I’m there (in the middle), the better it is for both me and the team. The moment Shoaib (Malek) came in, he said we needed to get a partnership and that’s what we did,” said Azam.