ICC Champions Trophy: Sarfraz Ahmed says Pakistan will give their all vs India
Pakistan, led by Sarfraz Ahmed, are determined to maintain their positive record against India in the ICC Champions Trophy and have stated that the team has nothing to lose in the tournament.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 26, 2017 21:37 IST
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is excited about the prospect of facing India first-up in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and said the whole country is hoping for a win against the archrivals.
“The entire country is praying for a win against India and God willing, we will succeed,” Ahmed, who will be leading Pakistan for the first time in a major ICC event said at a media conference in Birmingham on Friday.
“If every member of the team gives it his all in the match against India, I am sure results will come. The effort should be there, people should see we are fighting and giving it our all,” Ahmed said.
The match against India is on June 4 in Edgbaston and the Champions Trophy is the only ICC event where Pakistan have a better win-loss record.
“We have a better record against India in the Champions Trophy, not in other competitions, but we did well in this. We’re looking to maintain that against India and it’s very exciting,” Ahmed added.
Pakistan have faced India thrice in the ICC Champions Trophy, winning two and losing one.
Improvements in fielding
Pakistan have generally been termed a sloppy fielding team. However, Sarfraz has said that the fielding coach has worked very hard. He cited the example of the team’s improvement during recent series against West Indies, where Pakistan won in all formats.
“Against the West Indies, we had a big fielding improvement, there were one or two dropped catches but it was an improvement so we are happy with that. We don’t see us as having a surprise element, we want to come here and play free cricket, starting against India,” Sarfraz stated.
Bangladesh a much improved side
Before the start of the main tournament, Pakistan play two warm-up games and their first match will be against Bangladesh on Saturday. Sarfraz has said Pakistan, who are currently ranked No.8 in the ICC rankings, will not take Bangladesh lightly, having recently beaten New Zealand for the first time overseas and jumping to a high of No.6 in the latest ICC ODI rankings.
“Over the past one-and-a-half years, Bangladesh has performed very well. The warm-up game is a good opportunity for both teams before the Champions Trophy. Both teams want to win so it’s a good practice match to have. Over the past few years they’ve done well and we’ll see its batsmen, like Tamim Iqbal, if we play in the semi-finals,” the Pakistan skipper said.
Sarfraz has gotten off to a positive start in his captaincy tenure and he will be determined to not only win against India, but help Pakistan secure the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time.