ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Sarfaraz Ahmed has ability to lead Pakistan to second title, believes Azhar Ali

Sarfaraz Ahmed is an astute and strong captain and under him, Pakistan has already won the ICC under-19 World Cup and the Champions Trophy and I think he has the ability to win another ICC title this time, Azhar Ali said

Press Trust of India, Jun 29, 2019 16:35:05 IST

Karachi: Sarfaraz Ahmed has led the country to victory in two ICC events and possess the ability to guide Pakistan to a title win at the ongoing World Cup in England, believes Test batsman Azhar Ali.

Talking to a Pakistani cricket website, Azhar said Sarfaraz was a captain driven by a passion to see his team do well all the time.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Sarfaraz Ahmed has ability to lead Pakistan to second title, believes Azhar Ali

File image of Pakistan cricket team. AP

"He is an astute and strong captain and under him, Pakistan has already won the ICC under-19 World Cup and the Champions Trophy and I think he has the ability to win another ICC title this time," he said.

Azhar, who was part of the playing XI when under Sarfaraz's captaincy, Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, is confident that Pakistan will now continue its winning ways in the World Cup.

Pakistan faced a lot of criticism after losing to India but Sarfaraz's men made a comeback by registering successive wins over South Africa and New Zealand to regain hope of reaching the semifinals.

Praising the resurgence of the team in the World Cup, Azhar said it was very disappointing that when the team is not doing well everyone runs them down instead of supporting them.

"Abusing players is sad because a team needs all support the most when it is not doing well," he said.

"When a team is winning everyone is behind it but it is when your team is not doing well when you must be behind it," he said.

Azhar announced his retirement from ODIs last year after playing 53 ODIs for his country. He was also captain of the one-day squad from 2015 to 2017 before stepping down after which Sarfaraz took charge as captain in all three formats.

Azhar, a veteran of 73 Tests, also made it clear he had no regrets about retiring from ODIs last year.

"I took the correct decision because I was facing an injury problem plus after the retirements of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq I wanted to focus completely on test matches," he said.

He said he retired because he felt at that time that Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq were ready to take his place in the ODI squad.

Azhar, who has been playing county cricket in England, said he was not surprised by the variations in the pitches offered in the World Cup which has given pace bowlers the upper hand.

"It is because of the weather conditions. The wet season lasted longer than usual at this time of the year.

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Updated Date: Jun 29, 2019 16:35:05 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254