Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has warned inform New Zealand side that despite injuries, his team will put up a good fight in the upcoming limited-overs series starting from January 6.
The series will be the first one for the 2017 Champions Trophy winners since October and will test Sarfraz’s captaincy, who enjoyed an ideal run since taking over the leadership across all formats.
While talking to the media at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday, where Pakistan’s training camp is set up, the wicket-keeper batsman showed full confidence in his players and especially in the bowling attack, which is struggling with injuries.
“The team is united and we are all eagerly looking forward for the series against a very good New Zealand side,” said Sarfraz. “Even though we will be without Imad [Wasim], Junaid [Khan] and Usman [Khan Shinwari], who were clearly our go to bowlers in the past series, I have full confidence in this bowling attack to do well in New Zealand. I hope the replacements will be able to live up to the expectations.”
Talking about team’s batting, which has always been a cause of concern for Pakistan, the 30-year-old insisted they have made significant improvements which will be on show in the upcoming series.
“If you look back, after the West Indies series, our batting unit has performed really well,” he said. “The only time we didn’t perform was against India [in the Champions Trophy]. But overall there has been a clear improvement and I am sure you will see that in the upcoming series as well.”
While answering a question regarding what instructions have been given to the openers for the tour, Sarfraz said: “There are no special instructions. We just want them to play their natural game since all of them are very good players.”
‘T10 is only good for entertainment’
Sarfraz captained the finalists Bengal Tigers in the recently concluded T10 Cricket League and believes the format is good entertainment, and nothing else.
“T10 is only good for entertainment purposes,” he said. “I don’t think it has much to offer to cricket otherwise. Kids will want to play it because of its commercial value, but I don’t think they can be persuaded to play Test or ODI cricket by showing them the T10 format.”
Team will do well in New Zealand: Sethi
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi believes his team is ready to give New Zealand a run for their money in the upcoming series, which will Sarfraz’s men take on the hosts in a five ODIs and three T20Is.
“I have faith in our team,” said Sethi. “This team has the ability to do well in New Zealand and I believe in Sarfraz and his captaincy.”