Sarfraz Ahmed wants to continue batting at No. 4 for Pakistan | Cricket

Sarfraz Ahmed wants to continue batting at No. 4 for Pakistan | Cricket

Sarfraz Ahmed promoted himself up the order to make a crisp 89 off 49 balls © Peter Della Penna

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed wants to continue batting at No. 4 in limited-overs cricket.

Sarfraz kicked off his T20I profession in 2010 batting at No. eight, and had floated across the center order with out a lot success; his first 400-odd runs got here at a mean of about 25. It did not take a lot for head coach Mickey Arthur to persuade him to bat larger up earlier this yr in T20s, a transfer that labored instantly. The emergence of allrounders Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf to present cowl down the order has additionally helped Pakistan and Sarfraz make this transfer. Regular performances at that place might encourage the crew administration to push him up the order in ODIs as effectively, forward of the 2019 World Cup.

“I’ve been repeatedly batting at No. 4 [of late] and I would really like to continue there,” Sarfraz mentioned, as Pakistan ready for the T20 tri-series in Zimbabwe. “We’re mainly attempting to construct forward of the World Cup. Should you look at the ODI facet, we’ve not made many modifications. Fakhar Zaman, Shadab, Haris [Sohail] who’s again within the facet, Babar Azam at the highest, [Mohammad] Hafeez and [Shoaib] Malik are round. So we’re settling and it’s good that the crew is performing and we’re getting in the best route with the best mixture.”

Pakistan, in accordance to Sarfraz, had been cautious of Australia – the third crew within the tri-series – and the circumstances in Zimbabwe, however stay assured of performing effectively. “Our preparation is nice. We bought a few days right here (in Lahore) and three days there (in Zimbabwe) to practice earlier than the collection,” he mentioned. “We will certainly go together with our greatest preparation, as in T20s no crew is simple to beat.

“We all know Australia is a robust crew and, though they’ve many new gamers, they know precisely how to adapt themselves.

“I’ve toured Zimbabwe twice, and on each events, the circumstances had been totally different. In 2013 it was grassy with some bounce and in 2015 it was gradual with moisture. This time round, I’ve bought to know that it will likely be colder and I really feel the toss can be very important. So we want to assess the pitch to make our choices. General, we’re in a very good place and hopeful of excellent outcomes. However this tri-series goes to be powerful and you may anticipate some aggressive cricket.”

Pakistan are presently ranked No. 1 in T20Is; Sarfraz mentioned that didn’t add any extra stress on them. “We truly do not actually take into consideration being No. 1 or rankings. Once we weren’t No. 1, we by no means thought in regards to the rankings so all now we have to do is to play naturally with out stepping into such particulars. I solely urge the gamers to give their finest and go away all different issues apart.

“The boys are backing one another and that is one thing that is fairly evident within the subject. Even when somebody fields effectively within the covers or at the boundaries, or has taken a very good catch, all of them reply to it and again one another up.”

Following the T20I tri-series, Pakistan will play a five-match ODI collection in Zimbabwe. Sarfraz admitted to being underneath stress as an all-format captain, however mentioned he tries to quell that together with his on-field performances.

“Clearly as a captain you might be underneath stress as a result of you might have to go searching at lots of issues, however I all the time look to seize a possibility to lead from the entrance. Every time I get an opportunity, I attempt to win the sport with my contribution. I’m conscious of my particular person type and I have been working laborious to contribute with each the bat and behind the wicket.”

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent

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