Asia Cup 2018: Champions Trophy Winners Pakistan Count on Youthful Zest and Reliable Old Timers

Pakistan cricket crew. (ICC)

The UAE is residence away from residence for Pakistan, however their ends in the area have been lower than flattering. The one groups they’ve gained One-Day Worldwide sequence in opposition to since they shifted base to the UAE in 2010 are Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Pakistan have performed a complete of seven sequence in opposition to England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and have misplaced all seven. Protected to say, they’ve their activity minimize out on the event if they’re to do a repeat of their gorgeous Champions trophy triumph final 12 months.Pakistan begin their marketing campaign in opposition to Qualifiers Hong Kong on Sunday earlier than the high-octane conflict in opposition to India 4 days later. Cricketnext takes an in-depth take a look at the 16-member squad that do obligation on the six-team occasion.

Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain) [M: 90 | R: 1748| A: 34.27 | 100s: 2 |50s: 8 ]


The change in Pakistan’s fortunes as a limited-overs crew has coincided with (or maybe spurred on) by Sarfraz’s ascension to captaincy. A street-smart cricketer from Karachi, the wicket-keeper batsman has report, however has annoyed followers and coaches through the years by his steadfast opposition to batting up the order. A stroke-maker versus an enormous hitter, it was believed that he can be finest utilised when the sphere was up and the ball, new. Within the final World Cup, after the experiments with Nasir Jamshed and Younis Khan within the opening slot had failed, Sarfraz lastly stepped as much as rating his maiden hundred in opposition to Eire at Adelaide.

Since changing into captain, he prefers to lurk within the center or late center order. He has had a lot success as skipper, although he usually seems to lose persistence with each, his bowlers and fielders, with head-shaking and caustic feedback being the norm when issues don’t go his manner. His largest benefit is that he kinds a really potent management group together with coach Mickey Arthur, whose man-management abilities permit Sarfraz to focus on on-field technique.

Fakhar Zaman [M: 18 | R: 1065 | A: 76.07 | 100s: 3 | 50s: 6]

zaman edited

The left-handed opener is an important cog in Pakistan’s batting armoury, on whom the crew depends to offer early momentum. He’s (by sub-continental requirements) a late bloomer, having come to prominence solely within the 2016-17 season through his wonderful kind within the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. This led to a contract with the Lahore Qalandars within the Pakistan Tremendous League, the place he made an influence, although he wasn’t an unqualified success. For a largely one-paced batting line-up although, this former Pakistan Navy sailor was simply what was required to go full steam forward up entrance.

After being thrashed by India within the opening match of final 12 months’s Champions Trophy, Zaman was pitch-forked into the line-up and since then, there was no trying again. That century within the last gave Pakistan their largest victory for the reason that 1992 World Cup and made him an prompt hero. It might have been straightforward for him to relaxation on his laurels, however since then, he has gone from energy to energy, changing into the quickest man to succeed in 1000 runs in ODIs and likewise changing into Pakistan’s first ODI double centurion, feasting on Zimbabwe’s bowling in Bulawayo earlier than heading nonchalantly right down to Nandos to demolish a portion of rooster within the night.

Imam-ul-Haq [M: 9 | R: 544 | A: 68.00 | 100s 4 | 50s: 0]

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Imam-ul-Haq seems to be extra like a boy learning to take his IIT entrance take a look at than a world cricketer. The nephew of chief selector and bonafide legend Inzamam-ul-Haq has meant cries of nepotism have by no means been too far-off when he has been chosen. However, he has performed all he can to show that he belongs at this degree. A century on ODI debut in opposition to Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi was precisely the beginning he would have needed and now, he has 4 a whole bunch in simply 9 video games. Granted, he has solely performed Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe to this point, however then, he can solely rating in opposition to the groups he performs. He’s the proper foil to Zaman, enjoying inside his limitations and blissful to attain ‘ugly’ runs. In Zimbabwe, he would get overwhelmed usually by bowlers like Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara and Richard Ngarava, however invariably buckled right down to make an enormous one.

Shan Masood [Yet to play an ODI]

Shan Masood

With Mohammed Hafeez not the flavour of the month with Mickey Arthur, and Ahmed Shehzad banned for doping, one other left-hander, Shan Masood, is available in because the reserve opener. Practically 29, he has by no means been seen as an ODI cricketer earlier than, although he has performed 12 Assessments. However he has an exceptional Listing A report, averaging over 58 with ten centuries in 75 innings.

Whereas the world is used to Pakistan cricketers rising from obscurity and humble backgrounds, Masood, is simply the other. His father is a high banker, and Masood has spent loads of his early life in England, enjoying college cricket for Stamford after which for Durham College, even dwelling a stone’s throw from Lord’s for a number of years.

Coached in England by former left-handed opener Graeme Fowler, he’s made many sacrifices to come back and play in Pakistan and is likely one of the fittest males within the crew, often topping 20 within the YoYo take a look at. Compared, India’s benchmark is simply 16.1.

Babar Azam [M: 46 | R: 1973 | A: 54.80 | 100s: 8 | 50s: 7]

Babar Azam. (Getty Images)

A cousin of the Akmals, Babar Azam is likely one of the smartest batsmen within the crew. Not an influence hitter by any means, Azam depends on his timing and the flexibility to rotate strike. It’s mentioned coach Arthur loves him like a son – properly, a median of practically 55 would endear any participant to his coach however the factor with this younger man, not but 24, is that he’s extremely disciplined and one other one to subscribe to the brand new tradition of health and excessive fielding requirements – one thing that Pakistan groups of the previous have by no means been identified for.

As Pakistan’s No. 3, Azam occupies a vital place, normally holding the innings collectively and permitting the others to mess around him. Within the latest sequence in Zimbabwe, with openers firing on all cylinders, he didn’t get a lot of an opportunity to play a protracted innings. However within the last sport, after the openers had placed on 168 in 25 overs, he buckled down to attain a quickfire unbeaten century to log off on a excessive. He loves enjoying within the UAE, having scored 5 centuries in his final seven ODI innings there.

Shoaib Malik [M: 266 | R: 7015 | A: 35.07 | 100s: 9 | 50s: 41 | Wk: 156 | Eco: 4.64]


The previous captain and engine room of this Pakistan batting, Shoaib Malik appears to maintain getting higher and fitter with age. Unnoticed of the 2015 World Cup, it appeared like his profession was over. And whereas his crew was struggling Down Below, Malik was sitting within the room subsequent to us, as a visitor on Zee TV’s World Cup studio present. Even then, he saved telling me “I’m not performed but. Dua karein (Pray for me), I might be again quickly, inshaállah”.

His first knock on return was 112 in opposition to Zimbabwe in Lahore, and since then, there was no trying again. He averages practically 48 since his comeback and fulfils a crucial position within the middle-order, holding the scoreboard ticking within the center overs, earlier than unleashing in the direction of the tip. He performs a number of roles – consolidator, enforcer and finisher, relying upon the necessity of the hour. Practically 37, he is aware of his sport inside out and loves enjoying India, averaging 47.45 in opposition to them, versus a profession common of 35.07.

Asif Ali [M: 5 | R: 114 | A: 57.00 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 1]

Asif Ali

One of many finds of the Pakistan Tremendous League, Asif Ali has been fast-tracked into the nationwide aspect to satisfy the crew’s crying want for an influence hitter in the direction of the latter phases of the innings. His is a particular story – not so way back, he laboured in one of many factories in Faisalabad, doing numerous jobs, together with as a welder.

Asif, who performed a number of essential cameos for Islamabad United earlier this 12 months as they swept to their second PSL title in three years, made his worldwide debut in opposition to a make-weight West Indies crew that toured Karachi for a three-match T20I sequence. His first ODI project was in opposition to Zimbabwe, the place he scored a blistering 50 off simply 22 balls within the fourth ODI to present a glimpse of his expertise and energy.

A welder by occupation earlier than he hit the massive time as a cricketer, his energy and energy have impressed awe within the Pakistan home circuit for just a few years now, however he has struggled for consistency. He now has a selected position although, and it’s this readability of thought that may stand him in good stead as he traces up in opposition to the massive weapons.

Haris Sohail [M: 24 | R: 887 | A: 44.35 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 9]

Haris Sohail

When Pakistan went into the 2015 World Cup, Mohammed Hafeez was referred to as for a suspect motion and never allowed to bowl. This meant that the steadiness they have been looking for was thrown off-kilter. Haris Sohail was then developed instead, along with his gradual left-arm. He carried out moderately properly within the UAE, however wasn’t fairly ok Down Below.

Whereas his batting report is pretty spectacular, he has had a horror run with accidents. A knee harm, adopted by a botched surgical procedure saved him out of cricket for nearly three years. Most not too long ago, Sohail performed the T20I tri-nation sequence in opposition to Australia and hosts Zimbabwe in Harare, however seemed woefully out of contact with the bat and unfit on the sphere. It might take rather a lot for him to be enjoying within the XI.

Faheem Ashraf [M: 12 | Wk: 16 | A: 20.31 | Eco: 4.24 | 5w: 1]

Faheem Ashraf

The tempo bowling all-rounder Pakistan have been trying to find since Abdul Razzaq, Faheem Ashraf bowls a heavy ball and has the knack of taking essential wickets within the center overs, the place he and Hasan Ali kind a lethal mixture. He first hit limelight within the run-up to the Champions Trophy, the place Pakistan wanted 93 to in simply over seven overs with simply two wickets in hand, in a warm-up sport in opposition to Bangladesh.

Ashraf smashed 64 not out off simply 30 balls and together with Hasan, took his crew to an unlikely win. He made his debut in the principle occasion, however since then, it’s his bowling that has taken centre-stage. 16 wickets in 12 video games at a median of simply over 20 and an financial system price of 4.24 make him an vital a part of the bowling armoury. One other one from Pakistan Tremendous League champions Islamabad United, Ashraf has head on his shoulders and is very rated by coach Mickey Arthur.

Shadab Khan [M: 22 | Wk: 33 | A: 25.60 | Eco: 4.62 | 5w: 0 | R: 208 | 50s: 3]


Picked up by the Islamabad United expertise scouts earlier than the second version of the PSL, the 19-year-old has shortly risen to grow to be the nation’s premier limited-overs spinner. The boldness of youth coupled with spades of talent have meant that Shadab has shortly emerged as one of many high younger leg-spinners on this planet, alongside Rashid Khan. He’s additionally a useful decrease order batsman, having scored three fifties in eight ODI innings to common 54 in his younger profession. He’s additionally a top-class fielder at level and very important to the crew’s plans. A superb crew man, he has shortly fashioned a fantastic bond with Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman. His largest energy as a bowler is his big-spinning googly and a top-spinner that fizzes off the floor. His leg-spin continues to be a piece in progress, however his accuracy and talent to soak up stress make him a key part of this younger crew.

Hasan Ali [M: 33 | Wk: 68 | A: 20.88 | Eco: 5.21 | 5w: 3]

Hasan Ali_Getty

One of many causes this Pakistan crew is so good is its capacity to choose up wickets within the center overs, the place historically, groups are likely to consolidate and the sport meanders alongside. Hasan Ali although is a real wicket-taker, who prefers to bowl with the semi-new ball and takes wickets at common intervals. In simply 33 matches, he already has 68 wickets. Regardless of his wiry physique and common construct, considerably much like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he tends to extract each tempo and motion from the pitch with a easy motion.

He calls his celebration the “bomb” celebration and admits to working towards it often and entertaining individuals with it. A video of him doing that celebration on the Wagah border not too long ago went viral. So obsessed is he with the celebration that he aggravated a neck harm doing it within the latest sequence in opposition to Zimbabwe and needed to go off the sphere. The following time he obtained a wicket, he ordered Shadab to come back in and rejoice in his stead. It’s not all fluff although. Hasan was till not too long ago the highest ODI bowler within the ICC rankings and he might be essential to his crew’s probabilities within the desert.

Mohammad Nawaz [M: 11 | Wk: 13 | A: 34.76 | Eco: 5.16 | 5w: 0]

Mohammad Nawaz

Rawalpindi’s left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz has been a gentle performer during the last couple of years. Used largely as a help bowler to Yasir Shah in Assessments, and to Imad Wasim and Shadab in ODIs, he ostensibly made the grade when Imad Wasim failed to attain the YoYo take a look at mark of 17.Four set by Mickey Arthur and his crew. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see what number of video games he’ll play, with Pakistan having six fast bowlers of their ranks.

Mohammad Amir [M: 43 | Wk: 58 | A: 29.75 | Eco: 4.75 | 5w:  0]


His efficiency within the Champions Trophy last was value raving about, however since then, he’s performed little of notice, taking solely three wickets within the seven ODIs he has performed. It’s one thing that might be worrying the think-tank, although they’re assured he’ll come good on the massive event. His expertise and talent are past query, however of late, he appears to be tiring of the grind that’s worldwide cricket. He normally travels along with his spouse Narjis and little daughter Minsa, however his coronary heart doesn’t all the time appear to be in it. He has been unfortunate too, however with so many different left-arm quicks within the queue, Amir should know that the time to carry out is nigh.

Junaid Khan [M: 69 | Wk: 100 | A: 28.21 | Eco: 5.26 | 5w: 0]


Junaid has had his fair proportion of accidents, however now he lastly appears to be on the mend. Most significantly, he loves a problem. And no problem is as huge for a Pakistani cricketer as a sport in opposition to India. Right here, he excels, averaging 20.44 at an financial system price of 4.18. Granted, most of those performances have been just a few years again, however Junaid oozes confidence once you point out a match-up in opposition to the arch-rivals. He could have a wrestle to get into the XI although, with three different left-arm quick bowlers within the squad.

Usman Shinwari [M: 6 | Wk: 15 | A: 11.40 | Eco: 4.56 | 5w: 1]

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Shinwari is a left-armer with tempo and on his day, he can hassle anybody. He has performed solely 6 ODIs to this point, two in opposition to Sri Lanka and 4 in opposition to Zimbabwe, however in these six video games, he has amassed 15 wickets at 11.40 runs per wicket. He might be wild and he can get rattled underneath stress however he’s only a younger man. The promise is there for bowling coach Azhar Mahmood to work with.

Shaheen Afridi [Yet to play an ODI]

Shaheen Afridi (image: PSL)

The brand new child on the block, six-foot-six-inch Shaheen Shah Afridi has been spectacular within the PSL and the restricted outings he has had to this point. Cricket runs within the blood of this youngest of seven brothers. His eldest brother, Riaz, fifteen years his senior, performed one Take a look at for Pakistan in 2004. Shaheen was first seen within the Below-19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier this 12 months and was then picked up by the Lahore Qalandars within the PSL. He has solely performed 4 Listing A video games and three T20Is and could be very a lot a piece in progress.

First Revealed: September 15, 2018, 6:00 PM IST


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