Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, on Friday, pointed out his nation’s impressive performance in the Asia Cup in recent editions as the teams gear up for the continental championship.
Pakistan are one of the favourites to win the trophy. The conditions and form are very much on their side. Pakistan have played their home games in UAE since the attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team in 2009. The Men in Green have enjoyed quite a successful phase in UAE. Pakistan have played 172 ODIs in UAE and won 106 of them. They have better winning record against all Asian Nations in UAE, particularly versus India and Sri Lanka.
Against India, Pakistan have won 19 out of 26 ODIs although most of them came during the 90s when both the Asian heavyweights used to play often in Sharjah.
Pakistan players will be brimming with confidence after the 5-0 thrashing of Zimbabwe. Moreover, their Champions Trophy triumph last year will further boost their confidence.
And ahead of the Asia Cup, their skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was also quick to point out the team’s impressive performances in recent editions.
“If you talk about Asia Cup then it is an event in which 6 top Asian teams will participate, so obviously we will try that the team performs well there,” Sarfraz said. “Pakistan made it to the final of 2014 Asia Cup, while we won the event in 2012, so will try to go there well prepared.”
Pakistan face a litmus test early in the competition when they play against arch-rivals India. Speaking on the fixture, Sarfraz said:
“I have not seen the atmosphere of a Pakistan-India match in any other cricket match.”
Sarfraz also made it clear that his team is not thinking about the next World Cup.
“Pakistan have a packed calendar going into the World Cup but just like Rohit (Sharma) said we would also like to focus on the Asia Cup for the time being. Then we have the Australia series. We will take it series by series so that when we reach World Cup, we have a fair idea as to where our team stands,” he said at the captains’ meet.
Pakistan will open their Asia Cup campaign against qualifiers Hong Kong on September 16.