Sarfraz Ahmed's exclusive interview (Part 2)


Sarfraz also spoke about the issue team was facing with regards to opening.  “Since 2010, we have been struggling with the opening slot and various names have been used to fill in that position but we are still looking for the ideal fit,” he said. “Shan Masood, Fakhar Zaman, Abid Ali are all in our plans to partner Imamul Haq at the top of the pile.”

Speaking about his own batting form, Sarfraz said: “Captaincy pressure has a bearing on how I perform with the bat but I’m gradually regaining my form.”

The Pakistan skipper also shared his thoughts about the slow nature of Pakistan’s batting. “The pace of our batting has been slightly below par but it was still in line with the difficult batting conditions we encountered in the UAE,” he said. “We will try and improve our scoring rate in the upcoming series because the pitches in South Africa are quicker as compared to UAE and the ball comes onto the bat nicely; aiding quick scoring.”

While talking about team’s fast-bowling, Sarfraz said: “We need to focus on our fast-bowling department. Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali have performed well but their effectiveness was reduced in the New Zealand series due to injury concerns. We also have Shaheen Afridi, who had a good debut match. His height and pace will aid the side on South African pitches.”

Sarfraz also spoke about the possibility of using two spinners in South Africa, if and when needed. “Yasir Shah is our number one spinner,” he said.  “But if we play on a pitch which offers more assistance to spinners, like one in Cape Town, we can go in with Shadab Khan as our fifth bowler. He has the ability to take wickets which could prove vital on the tour.”

The Pakistan captain also shared his ambitions about winning the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

 “As the leader of the pack, I would love to win the World Cup,” he added. “Hopefully, I can achieve that with this side. I don’t want many changes in the side apart from a few here and there but the core of the side will remain the same.”