Amir, Wahab justified World Cup selection: Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan skipper praised the bowlers for stepping up

Amir, Wahab justified World Cup selection: Sarfaraz Ahmed PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed feels vindicated after left-arm pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz came good with the ball, against England in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

In a blog post for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) website, the wicketkeeper-batsman said all the bowlers stepped up and performed their job perfectly to seal first victory for Men in Green in the mega event.

“Wahab and Amir showed the intensity and the determination to take wickets, the main reason why they were included in the World Cup squad in the first place,” wrote Sarfaraz. “Hasan Ali was equally impressive although his final figures don’t do justice to how well he bowled. Shadab, as always, was a beauty.”

“All the frontline bowlers bowled well and they were well supported by the combination of Shoaib Malik and Hafeez, who between them returned impressive figures of 10-0-53-2 on the comparatively smaller ground,” he added.

Pakistan skipper was impressed with leg-spinner Shadab Khan for accepting the challenge to open with the new ball.

“I used Shadab Khan in the first over and he repaid the confidence by dismissing Jason Roy,” he said. “He had not opened the bowling before in an ODI, but then this is the beauty of this team. Players are willing to take up the challenge and do anything that can help the team’s cause,” he explained.

The 32-year-old lauded the veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez for taking responsibility as a senior player to deliver a match winning performance.

“Hafeez showed there is no substitute to experience. He not only controlled and paced his innings to perfection, but also rotated the strike with Babar and punished the loose deliveries,” he wrote. “Hafeez not only enabled us to reach a total we were convinced we could defend, he also claimed the important wicket of Eoin Morgan with a peach of a delivery.”

“If Hafeez maintains this form and Babar continues to show his flair to build on the solid start provided by the openers, this Pakistan team will go a long way in the tournament,” he added.

Pakistan play Sri Lanka next on Friday and Sarfaraz was upbeat ahead of the clash.

“We must put the match against England behind us - like the one against the West Indies - and use it only as an inspiration and motivation for the upcoming matches. Our next game is against Sri Lanka in Bristol on Friday and we will try to keep the momentum going,” he concluded.