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We have firepower to post 300-350 in World Cup: Sarfraz

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Apr 24, 2019.

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  1. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    KARACHI: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes he won’t be under any pressure while batting up the order in the World Cup and his team is fully capable of posting 300-350 with regular frequency in the mega event that commences in England from May 30.

    The ICC Champions Trophy winning captain was speaking to Dawn over the phone in an exclusive interview on Monday.

    When asked whether wicket-keeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, after scoring two fine centuries against Australia in the UAE at an impressive strike rate of over 90, put him under any sort of pressure during the final team selection, Sarfraz said: “First of all, there is no pressure on me. Call it Rizwan’s bad luck if you wish, that I am the captain of the team and a wicket-keeper too. Obviously, it was a very difficult decision for us to drop someone who has been in such a terrific batting form,” said Sarfraz. “I do feel bad for him. But, we had to choose four players for the middle-order. So, we went ahead with Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez. Unfortunately, Rizwan couldn’t make the cut.

    “But, it’s a good thing that our bench strength is solid enough to have players like Rizwan waiting in the wings. God forbid, if an injury occurs to someone on the tour, we know we have him in the back up,” he said.

    Does the absence of a pinch hitter down the order bother him? “No,” came the reply from the captain.

    “The team is fully capable of scoring 300-350 runs while setting up a target or chasing. We have some very good players in the middle and lower order,” said Sarfraz. “Imad has been in superb batting form for the last 2-3 months. He has batted brilliantly of late. We have Shoaib Malik who can be very handy. Then we have Faheem Ashraf as well who can hit the ball far. We have worked very hard with him in the camp. So, I am very hopeful that quick scoring down the order won’t be an issue.”

    Pakistan will be playing their first two games against West Indies and England in Nottingham where the recent scores were in excess of 400. It is, coincidentally, the same ground where England smashed Australia all around the park last year and went on to record the highest ever ODI total of 481. However, that doesn’t stop Sarfraz from believing that his team can chase or defend any . “I have full confidence in the abilities of my players. I know they will give their best,” he said.

    Defending Malik’s selection despite his woeful batting record in England, Sarfraz said that the team is not thinking about batting averages currently. “Our focus is entirely on the World Cup at the moment. [Shoaib] Malik is our most seasoned campaigner. We will try to make the most of the combined experience of Shoaib Bhai and Hafeez Bhai. They are the backbone of our team and they themselves realise the importance of performing in such big tournaments. We need them because the pressure of playing in World Cups is completely different from featuring in a regular game.”

    Sarfraz also made it clear that Hafeez will bat at No. 4. “Hafeez Bhai has been batting at No. 4 for the last one and a half year or so. His slot is set and he will be seen batting at the same position.

    “If you look at our squad, only four players have competed in a World Cup before. The rest of them are relatively new and have never played a single World Cup game, although 11 of them featured in the Champions Trophy played two years ago at the same venues,” he observed.

    Commenting on Shadab Khan’s illness, Sarfraz said that he is very hopeful that the young all-rounder will be part of the final squad for the World Cup. “It is very unfortunate what happened to Shadab but I am very optimistic that he will play for Pakistan in the World Cup.”

    As for Yasir Shah’s selection despite his not-too-impressive form in recent games, the skipper said: “We tried Yasir against Australia because we wanted to see whether we could play with the attacking approach of two spinners in the World Cup. Yasir was always our backup wrist spin bowling option because if the ball does grip in England, he will be a handful for the opposition.

    “We could have opted for Mohammad Nawaz but we wanted a bit of variety in our bowling department and already have Imad Wasim as a left-arm spin option.”

    Sarfraz also hinted at the possibility of playing young pacers Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi together in the playing XI during the upcoming matches. “As you know, we will be playing 11 games before the World Cup so the idea is to rotate our six fast bowling options so that by the time the World Cup starts, all our pacers are fresh and in rhythm.”

    Sarfraz also pinned high hopes on the experienced Junaid Khan in the matches in England. “He [Junaid] knows how to bowl in the middle and death overs. If you look at his record in England, it’s exceptional. He has performed well in the past in the Champions Trophy and has bowled impressivele in county cricket as well.”

    And how did he evaluate Mohammad Amir’s chances of making the final World Cup squad?

    “It is unfortunate that Amir, despite bowling well, has not been getting as many wickets as he would have liked, but he will have the opportunity to prove himself in the series against England and he has looked very keen in the practice matches and drills in the training camp too,” said Sarfraz. “He can make a case for selection if he does well against England.”

  2. cricfreak

    cricfreak Emerging Player

    Jul 6, 2010
    sarfraz is trying to create an illusion to us cricket fans about all the shortcomings of this squad.
    first it was mickey arthur who seemed over positive
    and now its sarfraz whose doing the same

    our team barely scores 300-350 on dubai highways.
    one thing we need to also realize we will not be playing in ideal batting condtns,the pitch will ease out surely but 300-350 regularly i don't know.

    avg weather for UK going to be

    This month(June 2019) is characterised by rising temperatures, with daily highs starting off at around 19°C on June 1st and rising up to 22°C by June 30th, rarely falling under 15°C
    (source :
    https://www.holiday-weather.com/london/averages/june/ )

    the above is for June only i didn't check for JULY.

    I presume in the above conditions ball might seam & swing a bit in the first 15 overs.
    IN SUCH CONDITIONS EVEN 270-290 IS A GOOD TOTAL provided you have bowlers who can use these conditions.
    giving such a statement of scoring 300-350 runs frequently is putting unnecessary pressure on your batsmen, the last thing you want them to play aerial shots and get out.

  3. Mohammed Bilal

    Mohammed Bilal Tracer Bullet

    Jul 17, 2017
    Ball will swing max 4 overs, on average about 10 balls. The ball only moves when they dish out a green pitch however ICC regulate pitches so expect no green mambas.
  4. Del

    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

    Dec 21, 2016
    Posting 300/350 is doable, but how frequently can you do it is a million dollar question.

    Also, can you do it against top bowling attacks in high octane games?
  5. godzilla

    godzilla Smooth Operator

    May 12, 2016
    I think hes right, 350 will be very easy for this team.

    we are talking about runs conceded aren't we?
  6. Passionate Pakistani

    Passionate Pakistani Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

    Jun 10, 2011
    There is only one aggressive batsman in top 6 and even that batsman is not in greatest of form.. dont know the reason behind this statement

    But maybe he was asked this question and obv he is not gonna say we cant score 300 on regular basis.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
  7. Fireworks11

    Fireworks11 Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

    Sep 22, 2012
  8. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    At least one prediction is coming true!
  9. Patriot

    Patriot Kaptaan

    Oct 8, 2014
    Where did everyone go ?
  10. Energy

    Energy Cornered Tiger

    Apr 22, 2012
    Chalo. This is creation of a new paindu illusion that we'll need to live with. Somebody tell him that the other team also bats in the same match.

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