Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has said that the team is eager to put up a good show in the upcoming tour of South Africa.
Pakistan lost the recently concluded three-match Test series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but while talking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Sarfraz shown optimism about the team’s chances in South Africa.
“We tend to perform really well whenever we are the underdogs and there is a lot of pessimism amongst the cricket followers,” said Sarfraz. “The Champions Trophy 2017 victory is a glaring instance in this regard.”
Speaking about team’s plans against the Proteas, Sarfraz said: “We will try and post a good first innings total, around 270-280, because we are confident that our bowling attack can make a fist of things with such a total on the board.”
Sarfraz came under severe criticism following the defeat against the Black Caps, but the Karachi-born wicketkeeper-batsman believes that is part and parcel of the game.
“One day you are a hero but soon you can be turned into a villain because that is the nature of how things pan out these days,” he said. “I’m not the sort of person who would run away from this job but the unnecessary criticism that is hurled on the captain can be unbearable to an extent.”
He added that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has always backed him as captain. “Chairman PCB has always given me confidence and backed me as captain which means a lot to me and I’m thankful to him for that,” he said.
Sarfraz also pointed out the deficiencies of the batting line-up with special emphasis on improving batsmen’s conversion rate.
“Our batsmen are not consistent enough right now which is a major reason why we are struggling in Test matches,” he said. “They need to shoulder the responsibility and improve their conversion rates by turning those 30s and 40s into big scores.”