Considered by many as the very antithesis of a calm captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed has continued to lead Pakistan with the style of a schoolteacher looking after errant children. Marked for captaincy from a young age and known famously for leading the Pakistan U-19 side to an incredible victory against India Under-19 to win the World Cup in 2006, Sarfaraz Ahmed is a leader who seems to have fate on his side.
The first game of the Champions Trophy in 2017 ended in a disastrous defeat at the hands of a rampant India side. But the manner in which he lifted his side and his own personal performance against Sri Lanka in the group stages is now a matter for the record books. In recent times, Sarfaraz Ahmed has had to struggle against a dip in his batting form and a batting average of 32.91 and a series of single digit scores in the past few games are worrying signs for the 31-year-old Pakistan captain. His recent ban due to some unwise remarks about another cricketer has not earned him too many friends.
However, if he is feeling any pressure now, it's not obvious as the Pakistan captain looks as focussed as ever towards his next set of games and the upcoming World Cup. Considered by Misbah-ul-Haq as the oxygen of the side, Sarfaraz sees the former Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Moin Khan his role model. It is that street-smartness and ability to take control of game, a key feature in Moin Khan's game during his playing days is what Pakistan supporters expect of Sarfaraz Ahmed as well.
The Pakistan captain lead his team to victory in a ICC tournament in England in 2017 and will be well aware of the demands that the 2019 World Cup will place on him. Just like in the summer of 2017, Sarfaraz Ahmed will look to marshal his troops in 2019, many of whom he has seen grow in stature since that glorious day in June at The Oval. If he can get his tactics right and his own form does not desert him when it matters the most, come 14 July at Lord’s, he could be celebrating once again with a trophy in hand.