Zaman eyes ‘hundred’ against India during 2019 World Cup

Pakistan opener is keen on putting up a good show during the mega event

Zaman eyes ‘hundred’ against India during 2019 World Cup PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan opening batsman Fakhar Zaman is keen on scoring yet another hundred against India at an International Cricket Council (ICC) event, ahead of 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

Zaman scored a swashbuckling century against arch-rivals India, during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, to pave Pakistan’s path to victory in the final.  

Seven Pakistan cricketers, openers Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq, all-rounders Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan and pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain, appeared for their final media talk in Pakistan, before their departure for England.

Speaking on this occasion Zaman said: “We are adequately preparing for the World Cup. There is no pressure of playing my first World Cup. I have experience of playing in England before and I will try to use that to my advantage by providing team with a good start and playing an important role in team’s victories. I’m eagerly waiting for the match against India and would love to score another hundred against them.”

Zaman’s fellow opening partner Imamul Haq spoke about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advice about being mentally strong.

“Prime Minister’s speech was beneficial in improving our confidence. He advised us to stay calm mentally as it will aid in performing better,” said Imam.

The left-hander also spoke about the pressure that comes with being the nephew of chief selector: “The pressure of being chief selector’s nephew, Inzamamul Haq, can only be removed by performing with the bat. I have silenced my critics by scoring runs in the past and will try to do the same at the World Cup as well.”

Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who will be playing his last World Cup, was looking to make his final appearance at the mega event memorable.   

“I want to make my last World Cup memorable by performing well and bringing the trophy back home,” said Malik.

Malik also spoke about the much-awaited Indo-Pak clash during the 2019 World Cup.

“People who consider this match as war should understand that sports bring with it a message of peace and that’s how it should remain,” he said. 

Young pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain were glad about playing the World Cup, at such a young age.

“I could not have thought I will be playing the World Cup at such a young age,” said Shaheen. “Wickets of Aussie cricketers David Warner and Steve Smith, along with Indian captain Virat Kohli will be my targets during the event.”

Meanwhile Hasnain said: “I will try to live up to chief selector’s expectations of being the surprise package. Pace is my weapon and I will try to use that and trouble the batsmen.”

All-rounder Imad Wasim was hopeful about regaining full fitness, after recovering from a lingering knee injury.  

“I was slightly off the required 17:4 target mark in the Yo-Yo Test and will hopefully regain full fitness soon,” said Imad. “The series against England, before the World Cup, will also help us in terms of strength and conditioning.”

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan revealed that Imran Khan termed him as the team’s trump card, during the squad meetup at Bani Gala on Friday, April 19.   

“Prime Minister called me team’s trump card which felt great for my confidence,” said Shadab. “I understand my role in the side and will try to put up a good show in the World Cup.”

The Men in Green will leave for England on Tuesday, April 23.